Meat & Livestock News

New Biosecurity Strategy to Boost New Zealand’s Poultry Exports


  • New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) proposes a biosecurity plan to certify disease-free compartments for exporting day-old chicks and hatching eggs.
  • The scheme aims to ensure exports can continue even during exotic disease outbreaks within the country, enhancing confidence among international buyers.
  • In 2022, the export value of fertile eggs and day-old chicks reached $55.4 million, with significant numbers exported, indicating the potential for market expansion under this new biosecurity standard.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in New Zealand is introducing a pioneering biosecurity initiative designed to bolster the export of day-old chicks and hatching eggs. This plan involves the creation of biosecure compartments within poultry companies, certified as free from specific diseases, such as avian influenza, Newcastle disease, and certain salmonella serovars.

This compartmentalisation approach allows for a subpopulation within a company to maintain a distinct health status, ensuring the production area for exportable goods remains uncontaminated.

The MPI’s proposed Regulated Control Scheme – Production of day-old chicks and hatching eggs within a compartment for export – is currently open for public feedback. This scheme outlines comprehensive measures including compartment listing, biosecurity management plans, infrastructure requirements, and disease monitoring, among others.

It aims to issue export requirements under the Animal Products Act 1999, providing a structured framework for companies participating in the scheme.

Michael Brooks, the executive director of the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand, highlighted the benefits of this scheme, noting it would offer exporters greater certainty of continued operations amidst exotic disease outbreaks elsewhere in the country. Importing nations, in turn, would gain confidence in the safety of New Zealand’s poultry products.

The significance of this initiative is underscored by the substantial export value of fertile eggs and day-old chicks, which stood at $55.4 million in 2022. With over 3 million day-old chicks and 6 million hatching eggs exported last year, the establishment of disease-free compartments is expected to open new markets and expand New Zealand’s poultry export footprint.

The development of these compartments has been a collaborative effort between the MPI and the industry, setting out stringent biosecurity standards to be met and audited. This new standard not only aims to protect against disease but also to unlock potential growth opportunities for New Zealand’s poultry exporters by assuring international partners of the safety and reliability of their products.