07 Jun

Coronavirus badly affects our daily routine. These days there’s a rumor that poultry consumers are badly harassed. This rumor is about “Corona Virus in Chicken”.

Is coronavirus really present in chickens?

Before moving on to the answer to this question. I want to share some knowledge. Poultry technically carries a disease called “infectious bronchitis”. This disease is related to coronavirus. Coronavirus isn’t a replacement thing for diseases in animals. There are many types of coronavirus. However, the coronavirus that became a global pandemic is not related to it.

Before discussing the topic, I would like to discuss the current statistics of the poultry industry in Pakistan. The poultry industry is the second largest industry in Pakistan with an investment of more than 750 billion rupees. Commercial Poultry in Pakistan was first established in 1962 by PIA in collaboration with Commercial Hatchers of Canada. Pakistan’s poultry industry is contributing a great deal in supplying a cheap source of meat protein. With the supply of red meat increasing and production decreasing, poultry is the cheapest available animal protein source for our people. Poultry today has been a balancing force to control the prices of mutton and beef. More than 1.5 million people of Pakistan are directly or indirectly related to the poultry industry.

According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2019-2020;

Poultry meat contributes 35 percent to the total meat production in Pakistan by producing 1,657 thousand tonnes of meat out of the total meat production of 4,708 thousand tonnes in the country.

Poultry meat production showed a rate of growth of 9.1 percent while egg production showed a growth of 5.6 percent during 2019-20 over the previous year.

Environment controlled Poultry Shed brings tremendous transformation of poultry production both in terms of quantity and quality. There are now more than 6,500 controlled environment poultry sheds in the country, which shows that the poultry sector is moving towards modernization and advancement.

The Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) has expressed its focus on the rumors of chicken having coronavirus, and termed them as false and baseless. It backed this “baseless propaganda”, saying that people should continue to consume chicken and other poultry products without any fear. “Coronavirus has not been reported in any chicken product in any a part of the country. Furthermore, poultry has not been reported to be associated with transmission of the virus to humans in any part of the world. All the rumors being spread or being circulated on social media in this regard are absolutely false and baseless,” said Choudhary Fargam, vice-president, the northern region of the association.

Mr. Fargum further said that the National Ministry of Food Security and Research (Livestock Wing) and Poultry Research Institute Punjab had also denied this “baseless propaganda” through official reports, which have been published in the media. He also pointed out that the poultry sector was one of the most organized sectors of the agro-based industry. An image manipulated to seem sort of a notification from the Punjab government read: “Let me draw your attention to a really sensitive issue and an instantaneous complete ban on all poultry products in your respective districts under your administration.” ordered to be installed.” Earlier, a fake picture showing “breaking news” of a private TV channel was being circulated on various WhatsApp groups, claiming that the provincial government was considering banning poultry due to COVID-19. Nabil A Awan, Secretary, SHC and ME Department, Government of Punjab, said: “There is no Department in the Government of Punjab by the name of Health Department. There is Department of Primary and Secondary Health (P&SHD) or Department of Special Health Care and Medical Education ( SHC and ME).” However, a spokesperson of the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA), the Punjab Government’s Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department (SHC&ME), and the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) termed such reports as fake and false.

“There is not any department within the Punjab government by the name of the health department. There is primary and secondary health department (P&SHD) or special health care and medical education department (SHC&ME),” clarified Awan. “Before joining this department, I used to be Secretary Livestock. I checked it from there as well. Don’t worry. It’s fake,” he confirmed. UVAS spokesperson Prof Dr. Tahir Yakub stressed that the coronavirus was not originally a virus of poultry.

Yakub said, “There is not any evidence that it’s transmitted to poultry. So there is no question of transmission of coronavirus from poultry to humans.” Prof. Dr. Talat Pasha, former vice-chancellor of UVAS also said that the news circulating about coronavirus in chicken is not correct. “COVID-19 is found only in mammals, not in birds,” he said.

“There is not a single case in the world that can affect birds,” said Pasha, who holds a doctorate degree in poultry. In a June 3 press release, titled “Chicken Meat Safe to Eat”, the PPA denounced the social media posts on poultry to coronavirus health bodies and underlined that nutritionists recommended using poultry without fear is.

The PPA official pointed out that a large number of health associations and nutritionists have “recommended using poultry products without fear as it is absolutely safe, containing high-quality animal proteins in fish, milk, and eggs”. The health and nutrition experts included Dr. Jawed Akram, Vice-Chancellor, University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore, Professor Talat Nasir Pasha, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Professor Zurfishan, Dean of the Institute of Public Health (IPH), President of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA). Prof M Ashraf Nizami, President of Pakistan Pediatric Association (PPA) Prof Masood Sadiq, President of Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), Dr. Tariq Mahmood, Secretary-General of Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM), Dr. Somiya Iqtidar, and Pakistan Society of Food Dr. M Nasir, Secretary-General, Sciences, and Technology (PSFST).

The National Ministry of Food Security and Research and the livestock wing of Poultry Research Institute, Punjab had also rejected the hype through official notifications earlier. Also, no such report has been released in the international market.

International Report: The coronavirus is causing a global pandemic but it is not related to poultry and other food animals. Coronavirus infection is not new to the poultry industry.

However, a spokesperson of the Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA), the Punjab Government’s Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department (SHC&ME), and the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) termed such reports as fake and false.
“There is no department in the Punjab government by the name of the health department. There is primary and secondary health department (P&SHD) or special health care and medical education department (SHC&ME),” clarified Awan.

“Before joining this department, I was Secretary Livestock. I checked it from there as well. Don’t worry. It’s fake,” he confirmed.

UVAS spokesperson Prof Dr Tahir Yakub stressed that the coronavirus was not originally a virus of poultry.
Yakub said, “There is no evidence that it is transmitted to poultry. So there is no question of transmission of coronavirus from poultry to humans.”

Prof. Dr. Talat Pasha, former vice-chancellor of UVAS also said that the news circulating about coronavirus in chicken is not correct. “COVID-19 is found only in mammals, not in birds,” he said.
“There is not a single case in the world that can affect birds,” said Pasha, who holds a doctorate degree in poultry.

In a June 3 press release, titled “Chicken Meat Safe to Eat”, the PPA denounced the social media posts on poultry to coronavirus health bodies and underlined that nutritionists recommended using poultry without fear is.
The PPA official pointed out that a large number of health associations and nutritionists have “recommended using poultry products without fear as it is absolutely safe, containing high-quality animal proteins in fish, milk, and eggs”.

The health and nutrition experts included Dr. Jawed Akram, Vice-Chancellor, University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore, Professor Talat Nasir Pasha, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Education, Professor Zurfishan, Dean of the Institute of Public Health (IPH), President of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA). Prof M Ashraf Nizami, President of Pakistan Pediatric Association (PPA) Prof Masood Sadiq, President of Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), Dr. Tariq Mahmood, Secretary-General of Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine (PSIM), Dr. Somiya Iqtidar, and Pakistan Society of Food Dr. M Nasir, Secretary-General, Sciences, and Technology (PSFST).
The National Ministry of Food Security and Research and the livestock wing of Poultry Research Institute, Punjab had also rejected the hype through official notifications earlier.

Also, no such report has been released in the international market.

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