In a recent interview with DTiNews, Tran Cong Xuan, Chairman of the Vietnam Poultry Association, said the lax supervision of sales of substandard chicken could spell disaster for the domestic breeding industry.
| Tran Cong Xuan, Chairman of the Vietnam Poultry Association |
He said that, although the supply of poultry products is enough to meet the domestic demand, traders continue to import chicken legs and wings from China at prices much lower than those offered in the local market because these products are very popular in Vietnam.
The massive sales of Chinese chicken products has affected domestic breeders' competitiveness, leading to losses. If left uncontrolled, these imported products could spread germs and diseases in domestic poultry, he said.
The Vietnam Poultry Association has proposed that the Government take urgent action to control the situation. However, in reality, the supervision of illegal imports across the border remains weak. The official added that around 100 million chickens are imported into Vietnam each year.
According to the association's chairman, every day, hundreds of trucks bring chicken products with unclear origin into Vietnam. Many such trucks can be see in the Ha Vy Market in Hanoi’s Thuong Tin District every morning.
Drivers only have to pay nominal fine when caught, but destroying the chickens can be expensive, including the cost of hiring labourers to dig holes and spray sterilisation chemicals. As a result many patrol stations often ignore the violations.
The association has proposed that authorities impose higher fines for violators to add to the budget for destruction. They have also recommended bonus for people who report violations to encourage the public participation.
Many of the chickens and chicken products leave their destinations in China with the label “Mia” chicken, a high-quality chicken sold at around VND130,000 (USD6.1) per
kilogramme. The labels are changed, however, when they reach the market in Vietnam, to “Ga ta” which is supposed to be raised in Vietnamese rural areas and is considered good quality. Much of these products find their way into restaurants.
In China, chickens are often raised by industrial methods for their eggs. After they are no longer able to lay eggs they are commonly sold for their mean at a cheap price.
According to Le Hoai Tam, a veterinarian from Dong Nai Province, said that the industrial breeding method includes the overuse of antibiotics, and that residues can be found in the meat.
Previously, egg-laying chickens were valued at less than VND10,000 per kilogramme, and often used as food for crocodile breeders. However, recently, due to high demand of restaurants, prices have climbed to over VND40,000 per kilogramme.
Chinese bad-quality chicken flood Vietnamese market