SERDANG, Selangor: Malaysia’s chicken supply shortage is expected to be resolved in a month, said the director-general of the Department of Veterinary Services on Saturday (Jun 4).
There will be enough supplies to meet the demand for Hari Raya Haji celebrations next month, Dr Norlizan Mohd Noor said, adding that inter-agency engagement sessions have been held with industry players to find out the issues affecting supply.
“They are committed to increasing production. We are in the recovery process,” he told reporters after an event.
Dr Norlizan said the chicken shortage was due to several factors such as climate change, disease, the lack of workers, the use of open cages, as well as an unscheduled chicken vaccination process.
According to Dr Norlizan, almost 80 per cent of chicken breeders in Malaysia use open poultry houses, which are exposed to odour and fly pollution. Only a few breeders use enclosed chicken coop systems with optimal technology.
Malaysia imposed a ban on Jun 1 on the export of up to 3.6 million chickens a month in a bid to address the supply issue.
“The government’s priority is our own people,” Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on May 23 when he announced the ban.
On Saturday, the secretary-general of Malaysia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry Haslina Abdul Hamid also said that the situation is gradually improving.
"This thing (chicken supply) is temporary. The government is doing its best to ensure no shortage of chicken,” she added.
Singapore imports about a third of its chickens from Malaysia.
During a visit to Singapore on Thursday, Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that his country values its ties with Singapore and hopes to resolve the situation involving the chicken export ban “quickly”.
Mr Khairy had also cited "climate change issues" affecting the time taken for chickens to grow, as well as problems involving chicken feed.
“All of these factors have coalesced to create a situation where there was a shortage and high price(s) in Malaysia,” he said.