LAHORE: The Pakistan Poultry Association (North Zone), while reacting to a proposed resolution on slapping ban on poultry feed import in the Punjab Assembly, has called the move sinister, bewildering and far from reality.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Poultry Association’s Zonal Secretary Javaid Bukhari said poultry feed was not being imported as a feed in Pakistan, in fact, different products were purchased for producing the feed.
“Under the laws of Pakistan, the import of any ingredient that contains porcine material is banned and exporters of any edible ingredients certify that their products are free from such material,” he said. At the port of entry, he clarified, the feed products were tested by the government department concerned to ensure that they were free from pork fat and meat.
The poultry industry protested following a resolution presented recently by a member of the Punjab assembly that said the feed used in poultry farms, which was imported from India and other countries, contained pork meat and fat, therefore, it was difficult to establish if the poultry meat was Halal or Haram.
The lawmakers demanded that feed imports should be stopped forthwith and the feed prepared locally should be used.
Underlining the necessity of protein intake, Bukhari said a huge majority of people in Pakistan were generally deficient in animal protein as according to a Unicef report 44% of children in the age group of 5 to 15 years were suffering from stunting in the country.
“This percentage of stunting is perhaps the highest in the world. In such a scenario, poultry meat and egg is a hope and an affordable source to address the deficiency,” he argued.
According to the poultry industry, it contributes about 40% of meat consumed in the country and provides 10.5 kg of meat and 90 eggs per capita.
“The poultry sector consumes a host of byproducts produced by agro-industrial enterprises like solvent extraction, wheat and rice milling and gelatin Industry as well as support a number of agricultural crops like corn and sorghum,” he said.
The poultry industry says it has made an investment of about Rs700 billion, which provides employment to over 1.5 million people.
“This industry provides the cheapest source of animal protein to the lower strata income group,” Bukhari added.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2017.