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Shrinagar Municipal Corporation bans entry, sale of layer chickens

by 5m Editor
24 December 2006, at 6:56am

KASHMIR, INDIA - The health authorities of Srinagar Municipal Corporation have banned entry into the state and sale of spent hens popularly known as Layers citing health reasons. However, minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) Taj Mohiuddin has objected to the decision of SMC authorities and also questioned their brief.

The SMC officials argue that the spent hens, which lay eggs for a year only, are used as dog food in other states.

“Under Prevention of Food Adulteration Act we have banned the entry and sale of spent hens in the Srinagar city. We cannot compromise on health of the people,” Dr Shafqat Khan Health Officer, Srinagar Muncipal Corporation (SMC) told Greater Kashmir.

“Spent hens have less nutritional value and are sold at Rs 7 per kg outside and ironically at Rs 50 here. People will be surprised to know that the Spent hens are used as dog food in Delhi and other states,” Khan said, adding these are mostly served at eateries and restaurant of the city.

Health authorities from SKIMS and Health department supporting the decision of the Health Officer SMC said that these layers are mostly loaded with drug residues including antibiotics and hormones, which have detrimental effects on consumers.

The SMC had deployed special squads at Pantha Chowk check post and in markets of the city to enforce the ban.

The Technical Monitoring Committee report of Animal Husbandry last year had recommended ban on spent hens owing to its less nutritional value. Experts said egg-laying Spent hens in the UK are sent for slaughter after a year of egg production as they fetch little money. After slaughter their carcasses are used in chicken soups, pastries, pies, and pet food, etc.

The CAPD minister Taj Mohiuddin, however, challenged the jurisdiction of the SMC and Health Officer to enforce a ban on the sent hens. “I fail to understand on what basis the health officer banned the Spent hens. This is the job of veterinarians to decide what is good or bad for the consumption of people. The SMC should have conducted tests on the spent hens to prove their point,” Taj told Greater Kashmir. Taj said army consumes the spent hens in many states. “Army won’t be consuming the hens if they would have found them harmful,” he said. The State Government wilting under pressure from strong lobbying by the poultry businessmen of Punjab and Haryana had lifted the ban on the spent hens some time ago.

According to sources the ban was initially lifted partially on the request of Northern Command for facilitating supplies to soldiers in the mountainous terrain where broilers do not survive. However the Union Government, at the insistence of Punjab and Haryana Governments, later urged the state government to lift the ban in the wake of India having been declared free from the dreaded Bird Flu disease.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

5m Editor