: The agriculture and agro-based industry ministry will send its representative to China next week to explain the current outbreak of bird flu or Avian Influenza Virus (H5N1) in Kelantan.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the explanation must be given considering the temporary restriction by China on export of bird's nest from Malaysia to the country.
"An explanation should be given to China that the issue of bird flu in Kelantan can be contained as affected areas have been zoned, and will not spread to other places.
"There should not be any concern from China or other countries to restrict the export of poultry and bird's nest from Malaysia," he told reporters after the open day carnival at Kolej Universiti Tati here today.
Shabery, who is also Kemaman MP said the bird's nest industry in Malaysia had implemented a registration system on the origin of the nests.
"Through it, we can identify where the bird's nest is coming from, which birdhouse, village and state. If it is found there are matters that are not permitted, action will be taken on the affected area without involving its bird's nest nationwide," he added.
Elaborating, he said bird's nest exports to China were worth RM135 million annually, and the bird flu outbreak which was declared a disaster in Kelantan was a serious issue for entrepreneurs.
"The value of the exports is high, therefore, we do not want farmers and entrepreneurs to suffer continued losses."
Shabery said the ministry was also prepared to consider a more appropriate form of compensation for the farmers and operators involved if there was a recurrence.
"The prices of bird's nest and the birds go up and down, and it is something the farmers must face as there is no longer a scheme whereby, if the price is low, the government has to pay," he added. - BERNAMA