Poultry industry facing numerous challenges
October 30, 2012: Poultry industry is facing many challenges in Pakistan. One of the most important threats is Newcastle diseases and avian influenza viruses that has adversely affected the investment and growth rate of poultry industry in many countries. Avian influenza is a viral disease caused by different serotypes of Avian influenza virus.
Dr Mobeen Sarwar, PhD scholar at Department of Microbiology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore under the supervision of Professor Dr Khushi Muhammad has recently proved that Newcastle disease virus and avian influenza virus (H9N2) are prevailing in live bird markets. The birds in the markets are potential source of the virus that may be a contributory factor in the occurrence of avian influenza outbreaks in commercial birds. Following sanitary measures along with monitoring of live bird markets of large cities (in markets or shops) for avian influenza viruses may be adopted to avoid any bird flu outbreak in near future.
According to the research paper Avian influenza is a viral disease caused by different serotypes of Avian influenza virus. Among different serotypes, few years back, H5N1 and H7N3 were detected in poultry that had caused high mortalities in commercial poultry flocks. One serotype H9N2 is a common endemic strains that has been prevailing in commercial, rural birds and birds at poultry meat shops. It is a low pathogenic in nature and presently a public health issue as well as is a predisposing cause of many other bacterial and viral diseases in poultry thereby its chronic. It has been a continuous threat for poultry sector. Different studies have been carried out to investigate the potential sources of avian influenza virus, means of transmission and factors contributing in emergence of bird flu virus.
The preventive measures recommended in the paper includes cages, floors, cabins, vehicles, slaughter shops in live bird markets should use routinely cleaned and disinfected. The drums used for slaughtered birds in markets or for disposal of offal’s, slaughtered birds or rubbish material at slaughter shops, cutting devices, wooden chopping bases and boards may be routinely cleaned and disinfected. Similarly personal hygiene of the staff working in these live bird markets is essentials. House hold personnel involved in processing of any type of meat should also use similar type of hygienic practices and avoid using the same knife both for meat cutting and for those food items which are generally consumed uncooked. So for cutting of salad and other fruit items one should use separate clean knife to avoid any microbial contamination or food poisoning. Moreover, routine monitoring of live desi/rural birds at markets and slaughtering shops will be indicator of the outbreaks of the avian influenza in commercial birds.
The paper also suggests adoption of strict bio security measures and routine disinfection of the poultry farms may help prevent the outbreaks of the disease. According to the paper in Pakistan, poultry business is one of the largest entrepreneur worth over Rs 200 billion investments. Poultry sector is also an organised and vibrant sector of the agriculture industry (Economic Survey of Pakistan- 2011-12). It has shown a robust growth of 15-20 percent annually, which reflects its inherent potential. It generates direct and indirect employment for about 1.5 million people and its contribution in agriculture and livestock is 6.4 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively. Poultry meat contributes 25.8 percent of the total meat production in the country. Development policy envisions sustainable supply of wholesome poultry meat, eggs and other value added products to the local and international markets at competitive prices. It is aimed at facilitating and supporting private sector-led development for sustainable poultry production. The strategy revolves around improving the regulatory framework; disease control and genetic improvement in rural poultry; high tech poultry production under environmentally controlled housing; processing and value addition; improving bio-security; need based research and development and farmers training and education.
People are associated with different types of poultry business like broiler breeder, layer breeder, broiler farming, layer farming, Poultry eggs and egg products, poultry meat and meat products, poultry feed ingredients, feed mills, poultry medicines, poultry vaccines, poultry marketing in live bird markets, birds at slaughter shops, etc.