LAHORE – The Punjab government’s withdrawal of proximity law will cause stretch of diseases, putting the idea of disease-free chicken at risk, besides sabotaging the dream of poultry products export.
Chairman PPA Dr Arshad Hanif told The Nation that the Punjab local governments had issued notification in 2009, restricting the poultry industry to establish farms at a particular distance to avoid the spread of diseases.
Now the govt of Punjab, Local Govt & Community Development, in a notification (No sor LG 39-1/2009) issued on March 12, 2012, under the subject of “Guidelines for construction of poultry farms” has withdrawn this restriction with immediate effect, he added.
He said that the Punjab which produces around 73 percent of poultry products needs this law the most to provide cost efficient and disease-free chicken to the public.
He said that the poultry farming sector with about 30,000 poultry farms is the single largest rural job provider engaging 1.5 million workers directly or indirectly and is engaged in socio-economic uplift of the rural population.
PPA’s former chairman Abdul Basit said that the poultry farms which were set up before 2009, when there was no limitation, had become more vulnerable to the infection and were severely hit by the virus, resulting into shortage of chicken, making it costlier.
Ex-chairman said that safe distance between poultry farms should be made mandatory to avoid spread of diseases and reduce cost of production.
He said that bio-security and proximity laws are implemented worldwide and it is a safety measure against spread of diseases in poultry stock. He said the PPA had been requesting the government to enact a law making it mandatory to have a distance between the two poultry farms, which it suggested should be of 1, 2 and 3km respectively for broiler/commercial layer farm, parent stock farm and grandparent farms.
Earlier, there was no law to restrict the poultry farmer or breeder to take care of any distance. As a result, whenever some disease broke out at a poultry farm, it easily spread to other adjacent farms and within days all the stock of chicks was destroyed in the whole area.
He said that earlier the Sindh govt as well as the Punjab govt had established poultry estates where all chain of the poultry industry was put together to reduce cost and time. But the idea of poultry states totally failed when infection ruined the whole flock of all estates. So it was decided to impose restrictions of distance between farms to avoid the spread of virus, he said.
He said the poultry farming sector is dedicated to the socio-economic uplift of the country and providing top quality poultry products to the public.
The PPA launched a drive and tried to convince the authorities to frame a law which could ensure distance of at least one kilometer between tow farms so that if a disease breaks out at one farm, it could not spread easily to the nearby farm, he said. Besides the nearby farm holder in the meantime can manage to take measures against the disease spread in other farms, he added.
Dr Arshad Hanif pointed out that the Punjab govt, instead of framing a permanent law in this regard, just issued a notification on July 6, 2009, asking the poultry stakeholders to take care of distance.
He said that the PPA had earlier welcomed the issuance of instructions to all tehsils and Town Municipal Officers (TMAs) of the province to ensure distance of at least 1km between two broiler and commercial farms.
He said that a delegation of PPA held a meeting with Livestock secretary Sheikh Yaqub, who has assured of his cooperation in this regard.