Bird flu epidemic leaves Indonesian officials fearful of shuttlecock shortage
Badminton news: ban on feather imports could leave shuttlecock shortage in Indonesia
Badminton officials in Indonesia are concerned that the growing threat of another Bird Flu epidemic could have a devastating effect on availability of shuttlecocks in the country.
A ban has been placed on poultry imports including dried duck feathers -used to make shuttlecocks - into Indonesia from China in an attempt to stop the spread of the H7N9 strain of the disease, which has so far killed 33 people.
The strain is different from the one which killed more than 360 people in 2003 - and is a form not previously found in humans.
The ban has left officials worried there could be a shortage of shuttlecocks in the country, with 40% currenlty in use being shipped in from overseas, mainly from China.
Ricky Subagia, a spokesman for the Indonesian Badminton Association [PBSI] admits he is concerned over the effect the issue could have on one of the country's favourite sports.
"I hope the ban won’t last long as I’m afraid that it will have an impact," he said.
Indonesia have been a major force in world badminton in recent years and had won gold at every Olympic games since the sport was introduced in 1992 - although they enjoyed a less than successful London 2012.
The country failed to secure a medal in the sport having scooped gold in the men's doubles in Beijing in 2008.