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Pakistan's Poultry Industry Criticises The WHO For Fear-Mongering

by 5m Editor
5 May 2006, at 12:00am

PAKISTAN - Representatives of the Pakistan Poultry Association criticised the WHO Thursday (May 4) for propagating the idea of a global bird flu pandemic which forced sales of poultry to plummet and put thousands in the industry out of work in poor countries like Pakistan.

Pakistan's poultry industry criticises the WHO for fear-mongering - PAKISTAN - Representatives of the Pakistan Poultry Association criticised the WHO Thursday (May 4) for propagating the idea of a global bird flu pandemic which forced sales of poultry to plummet and put thousands in the industry out of work in poor countries like Pakistan. Take me to eFeedLink

The industry has also asked President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to eat chicken at public meetings to demonstrate that poultry products are safe. Producers believe the move would do much to restore consumers' confidence in the chicken industry, where half the poultry farms are in danger of closing, said Abdul Basit, senior vice-president of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Basit led an eight-member delegation from the Pakistan Poultry Association who called on Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Sikandar Hayat Bosan this week. The delegation said the World Health Organisation (WHO) was irresponsible in saying that bird flu could turn out to be a pandemic. They also urged the WHO not to propagate such fear-mongering statements when no human-to-human contact has occurred anywhere in the world.

In addition, the delegation sought a 10-year tax holiday from the government as compensation for over PKR10 billion (US$167 million) in losses it has suffered from the bird flu crisis. The delegation also wanted an end to 10 percent duty on soy and the 25 percent duty imposed on pre-transportation poultry houses along with other tax rebates and credit loans.

Basit said that the poultry industry provides jobs for 1.2 million Pakistanis, and securing their livelihoods is the duty of the government. Moreover, chicken meat comprises nearly half of overall meat consumption. With more chicken farm closures, the country can expect skyrocketing prices for other food items.

With people shunning poultry, sheep and goat slaughter in some cities have tripled. At this rate, Pakistan would fall short of demand and would have to depend on other countries for its meat consumption, the delegation noted.

Source: eFeedLink - 5th May 2006

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