See full statement from the Ministry of Agriculture:
The Minister and the Ministry of Agriculture refute in the strongest possible terms the malicious, false and libelous claims and allegations of the smuggling of chicken made by the Office of the Leader of the Opposition.
The decision to import chicken was made by the Government of Guyana. This became necessary since the local chicken consumption has vastly increased, resulting in the local supply being unable to meet the growing demand.
In addition to the increased local consumption, the local chicken industry was seriously affected by an outbreak of avian influenza in the United States of America earlier in this year. That outbreak, in turn, negatively affected the importation of hatching eggs, which led to the depletion of an already inadequate supply of chicken in Guyana.
The decision to import chicken was to not only ensure adequate supplies but also to stabilize prices in an effort to protect consumers.
In the circumstances, the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC), a Public Corporation, owned and controlled by the Government of Guyana and which falls under the supevisory authority of the Ministry of Agriculture was duly instructed and authorised to import chicken in order to meet the demand of the local market. The relevant documents relating to the importation of the chicken in question are attached.
As a result, the office of the Leader of the Opposition is hereby called upon to withdraw this baseless, reckless and libelous allegation immediately. The statement has already been sent for legal advice. Unless withdrawn, legal proceedings will be instituted.