Poultry farmers destroy 10 tons of illegal KFC chicken consignment
DHADING, Dec 16: In a major revelation, multinational fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) has been found importing chicken from India flouting government´s restriction imposed on import of poultry products from India due to bird flu risks.
The government has imposed ban on import of poultry from various countries, including India, for the last four years since bird-flu outbreak was reported in the southern neighbor.
The foul play by the multinational surfaced after farmers and representatives of Nepal Veterinary Association (NVA) in Dhading took two containers ferrying dressed chicken imported by Devyani International, the operator of KFC in Nepalm under control.
"The consignment included 10,866 kgs of frozen and ready-to-eat chicken worth about Rs 4 million. We instantly disposed it in the presence of local farmers, quarantine officials, police and veterinary experts," Dr Sital Kaji Shrestha, NVA general secretary, told Republica. Shrestha informed that the customs clearance papers for the consignment showed the chicken origniated at Venkey´s poultry farm in Pune, India.
Despite repeated attempts, officials of Devyani International could not be contacted for their comment.
Stating that Nepali chicken don´t meet quality standard, KFC has been claiming that it sources chicken only from Brazil.
Two cargo containers, with identification numbers MH 43U-4337 and DL1M 6582 were ferrying the chicken consignments for Devyani International Nepal when local farmers of Dharke in Dhading took them under control at Prithvi Highway on Friday night and Saturday morning.
"We took them under our control and handed them over to the police as both the containers were ferrying broiler chicken, violating the existing rule," said Padam Raj Koirala, a chicken farmer.
Farmers who said they acted based on information provided by an informer also said they will also take control 20 more containers carrying KFC´s dressed chicken from India.
Surprisingly, the containers had entered through Birgunj customs after paying due revenue. The customs officials had cleared its entry even though they were well aware about the existing ban on import of chicken from India.
"There´s foul play by customs officials as well, as the existing ban doesn´t allow anyone to import live and dressed chicken products," said Shrestha.
Poultry farmers have long been complaining that the illegal import of poultry products has dragged down their price in domestic market inflicting huge loss on them.
"We had received information that 22 containers of dressed chicken consigned to Devyani International are entering Nepal. The chicken might have been meant for mass consumption as KFC alone cannot use such a huge quantity of chicken," said Shiva Prasad Sharma, president of Nepal Hatchery Industries Association.
He also flayed the government for remaining mum over the imports of poultry from the country infected by bird-flu.