Home Global Village Poultry, meat and eggs may contain harmful drugs, NA committee told

Poultry, meat and eggs may contain harmful drugs, NA committee told

committee
  • 285
    Shares

News Analysis |

To a parliamentary committee’s shock, a report was presented that said that there were chances of citizens consuming harmful drug residues along with poultry, meat, milk and eggs. This was revealed during the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination on 30th January, when Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council Registrar Dr. Alamdar Hussain Malik said that farmers were giving ‘growth promoter’ drugs to animals and chickens.

The meeting was chaired by MNA Abdul Qahar Khan Wadan. Dr. Malik said there was evidence that poultry spiked with growth promoters and antibiotics were reaching the markets. He suggested that strict regulations be imposed to bar the practice.

In 2010, CCP fined Pakistan Poultry Association PKR 50 million for cartelization in several poultry markets. In 2016, CCP again fined Pakistan Poultry Association PKR 100 million for fixing prices.

Member of the board, Siraj Mohammad Khan told the assemblage that in order to increase the weight of animals butchers also inject water in the animals after slaughtering them. Farmers in Pakistan are not observing the mandatory five-day drug withholding period before slaughtering animals which leave drug residues in the meat, the committee was told.

Dr. Alamadar said because of two major reasons; foot and mouth disease and drug residue, Pakistan’s livestock export was very limited or near zero. As recently as this month, the governor of southeastern Khost province in Afghanistan has banned the import of chicken from Pakistan and tasked security forces with strictly enforcing the order.

Read more: Farmers threaten agitation if burden of taxes is not eased

According to poultry officials, currently 40,000 chickens on average level are weekly imported to Afghanistan from Pakistan via Dan Patan border crossing in neighboring Paktia province, with some coming to Khost markets. Governor Hukam Khan Habibi announced the ban during a meeting with poultry farm owners.

He said the import of poor quality chicken meat from Pakistan was affecting local consumers and the poultry industry. Members of the Poultry Union say currently 500 poultry farms are functional in Afghanistan, offering 750,000 chickens to the market after every 40 days. Poultry Research Institute Rawalpindi Director Dr. Abdur Rehman said the Punjab Poultry Feed Act was in place under which strict monitoring was being carried out.

The enquiry committee tasked with the investigation will examine all the evidence and present its findings in the form of a report. It would be pertinent to mention that CCP has previously also investigated and penalized collusive behaviour in the poultry sector.

Later, talking to a local publication, Dr. Rehman claimed that owners of poultry farms stopped giving drugs to chickens five days before selling them to consumers. He said under the Punjab Animals Feed Stuff and Compound Feed Act 2016, actions had been taken against those who were over-dozing chickens and using growth promoters against the law.

An official from the Animal Quarantine Department informed the committee that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on a summary moved by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research had imposed a ban on commercial export of live animals since 2013.

Read more: Belarus to invest in Pakistani agricultural sector

He said the export of processed Halal meat to Muslim countries witnessed a quantum upsurge. Pakistan earned $214.5 million from the export of processed/value-added meat during 2012-13 compared to $20 million on the export of live animals.

In this regard, a team of authorized officers of CCP recently inspected premises in Lahore that was in use of a poultry association and impounded material evidence.

Dr. Sher Mohammad from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Livestock Department told the committee that the provincial government was going to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company in the livestock field.

Meanwhile, a representative of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) informed the committee that scholarships in agriculture and veterinary fields were open under all disciplines and there was no bar for candidates to apply under any selected field. The committee also discussed the setting up of a permanent secretariat for the Council of Common Interest in Islamabad. The committee was informed that the issue was going to be resolved at a cabinet meeting, which was slated to be held on 31st January.

Read more: An open letter to Bill Gates: We need cash not chickens!

As if the woes of the poultry industry weren’t enough as they were, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) initiated an enquiry into possible collusion between various market players to set prices in the poultry sector earlier this month.

He said the export of processed Halal meat to Muslim countries witnessed a quantum upsurge. Pakistan earned $214.5 million from the export of processed/value-added meat during 2012-13 compared to $20 million on the export of live animals.

CCP initiated the enquiry under its suo motu powers after strong indications of organized communication between poultry sector players relating to poultry prices came to light. In this regard, a team of authorized officers of CCP recently inspected premises in Lahore that was in use of a poultry association and impounded material evidence.

The enquiry committee tasked with the investigation will examine all the evidence and present its findings in the form of a report. It would be pertinent to mention that CCP has previously also investigated and penalized collusive behaviour in the poultry sector.

In 2010, CCP fined Pakistan Poultry Association PKR 50 million for cartelization in several poultry markets. In 2016, CCP again fined Pakistan Poultry Association PKR 100 million for fixing prices.


  • 285
    Shares

1 COMMENT

  1. Nearly everything we eat in pakistan is contaminated, we must return back to organic way of eating and producing our food, this is becoming a national security issue, western countries are turning their backs on processed and mass farming. These people in govt are killing us slowly, control the food you control the country.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here