Malaysia is a country with one of the highest consumptions of poultry per capita in the world – 38 kg per capita in 2005.
According to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) poultry meat is the most popular and cheapest source of meat protein in Malaysia, because there are no dietary prohibitions or religious restrictions against it.
Fast food outlets such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Kenny Rogers, and Nando’s Chickenland have contributed considerably to the growth of chicken consumption in Malaysia. As the majority of the population is Muslim, the foodservice sector will only purchase halal certified poultry.
The Malaysian broiler industry produces more than RM4 billion (A$1.5 billion) worth of broilers and eggs per year, and is regarded as the most successful segment of the livestock sector.
Exports of Malaysian poultry meat decreased by 46% throughout 2005, to 2,590 tonnes. This is a result of Singapore – the largest market for Malaysian poultry exports – partially banning imports of Malaysian poultry following the AI outbreaks in north-east Peninsular Malaysia (August 2004) and the states of Selangor (February 2006) and Perak (March 2006).
Given the high poultry stock level, the USDA has forecast Malaysian poultry imports for 2006 to decrease by 6%, to 16,000 tonnes. Although Malaysia was declared free of AI on 21 June, recent outbreaks in Indonesia and Thailand pose a challenge to Malaysian authorities to prevent further outbreaks.
Source: Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)