Clamour for animal quarantine facility in Malabar gets louder

Despite the steady growth in export and import of livestock and related products, an Animal Quarantine and Certification Service to facilitate trouble-free transit of consignments is yet to be a reality for stakeholders in the northern Kerala region.

The requirement of a spacious area with costly testing equipment to comply with the Foreign Trade Policy is reportedly preventing the authorities from setting up such a facility in any of the airports or ports in the Malabar region.

As Animal Quarantine (AQ) clearance is must for the international transit of livestock products and pets, the facility is a basic requirement here for service providers and buyers. Considering the risk of the spread of infectious diseases, consignments carrying livestock are thoroughly checked by the authorities to prevent the entry of any uncertified animals or products.

However, plant quarantine service is now available at the Kozhikode International Airport, which helps importers and exporters quickly clear formalities. Stakeholders seek a similar system in Kozhikode through which they can easily handle procedures for the safe transit of livestock and related products. Such a service is also expected to benefit a large number of non-resident Keralites who wish to bring home their pets.

‘Near Beypore Port’

“We are going to take up the demand with the authorities. What we seek is the opening of a good Animal Quarantine and Certification Service anywhere near the Beypore Port,” says Munshid Ali, member of Trade Facilitation Council, Cochin Customs. Even for the export and import of edible fish items, certification by this wing is necessary for the further clearance of the Customs Department, he adds.

In the case of pets like dogs and cats, the main purpose is to certify that they are free of all clinical signs of infections and symptoms of infectious diseases. No transit will be possible if animals are found carrying the symptoms of distemper, parvovirus infection, skin diseases or leptospirosis. Such tests to screen animals can be conducted only with the support of a fully equipped lab and quarantine facility.

S. Sarin, an NRI from Kozhikode, said the lack of the facility forced many of his NRI friends and families to abandon their pets while returning to their home State. “Those who make use of the checked baggage service are now landing at airports outside the State and come home by road or rail service by spending huge money,” he says

Spices export

Meanwhile, spices exporters in the Malabar region are demanding permission for competent local research institutes to certify spice products. They seek better utilisation of the existing testing facilities available at the Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode, and the Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development instead of depending on the service of other distantly located firms.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 4:18:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/clamour-for-animal-quarantine-facility-in-malabar-gets-louder/article33645712.ece

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