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Activities of ppa (punjab zone) in relation to avian influenza ( bird flu) 
By Mohsin Shabbir
University of Agriculture,Faisalabad,Pakistan

Brief Resume Of The Activities Of Pakistan Poultry Association (Punjab Zone) During The Year 2003-2004

Pakistan Poultry Association since its establishment has been playing effective role in protecting the interest of poultry sector and seeking the resolution of the problems confronting the poultry sector of the country. Now Pakistan Poultry Association carries a strong platform for the poultry industry. Punjab being the biggest centre of poultry, the Zonal Executive Committee of PPA Punjab Zone not only took every possible measures to resolve any problems being faced by the poultry sector of the Punjab but in close coordination with the Central Executive Committee of Pakistan Poultry Association also invites effectively the attention of the Federal Government to the plight of poultry sector of the country.

Aim of this report is to highlight the activities of Pakistan Poultry Association (Punjab Zone) as well as to give a brief account of the development of Poultry Industry in Punjab and the role of PPA (Punjab Zone) in its development. Besides the problems faced by Poultry Industry and the efforts made for their resolution have also been highlighted in this report.


1. In beginning of the year 2003, Avian Influenza outbreak in commercial layers was first recorded from various towns of Karachi. A study was carried out by microbiologists and research completed on “Epidemiology of Avian Influenza H7 outbreak in Karachi” after completing the survey of the poultry farms, as per findings, Avian Influenza of low pathogen city was noticed during the first nine months of the year 2003, from November, 2003 onward a highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (AI) virus attacked layer flocks.

According to seasonal incidence in commercial layers, as many as 6 outbreaks occurred during February-March 2003, which is 14.63 percent of the total incidents. While five outbreaks were recorded during April-June 2003, which is 12.19 per cent. During July-September 2003, 3 outbreaks were registered, which is 7.30 percent, while 27 outbreaks recorded during October-December 2003 showing 65.85 percent of the total outbreaks.

During December 2003, 26 different outbreaks were recorded from all over Karachi, with heavy mortality. Daily mortality averaged 4 to 10 percent almost in all cases. The youngest infected age group was 5 to 7 weeks but major losses occurred in older flocks of 40-60 weeks of age, while the oldest aged birds were 133 weeks (Molted Flock). According to the findings of the study (AI) virus may occur through some contaminated vaccine because of the fact that a certain type of ND vaccine is commonly and more frequently used in Layer Flocks. Such incidences have been reported previously in medical history on many occasions.

2. Avian Influenza is presently a world wide problem and has been reported from USA, Belgium, Holand, Maxico and Australia besides Pakistan involving various sero types of influenza virus in chicken. It is H5 type, which has been responsible for recent out breaks in Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan, killing both chicken and human patients. Our present losses are due to H7 but we have also titers of H9. It was also noticed that the local press reported incidence of some “Avian Influenza” in children in Karachi but the type of virus had not been indicated.

The Public Health Department failed to highlight the issue except a statement by the Pakistan Medical Association, which had created un necessary panic in public. Afterwards both the medical and veterinary concerned departments investigated the problem and it was revealed that H7 and H9 viruses are not harmful to the human health. Total loss at Karachi due to recent outbreak caused by H7 was 3.5 Millions.

3. On 26th of January 2004 a news item appeared in the press and TV, that Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) has caused havoc in Poultry industry in Karachi causing loss of 3.5 Million Birds. A team of Veterinary research Institute identified presence of Avian Influenza Virus in layer flocks in Karachi. The type identified was to be H7 and H9. The team advised oil based killed vaccine of type H7 and H9 in the affected areas only and emphasized on strict bio security measures in Karachi. Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) caused by H7 and H9 strains of virus is species specific and is therefore not communicable to human beings. Therefore the present out break of Bird flu in Karachi has no zoon tic importance.

The meat of chicken affected with bird flu if accidentally consumed, will not pose any human health hazard. Bird flu virus is killed when subjected to heat treatment at high temperature. According to the survey conducted by Veterinary Research institutes Lahore, and Rawalpindi, the province of Punjab was declared free from bird flu.

The farmers were advised to get their birds examined by experts of Livestock Department in case of any respiratory disease problems in their flocks. Strict bio security measures would be adopted within and out side the farms. Mass vaccination of birds against bird flu be not adopted with out the advice of experts. Movements of birds and their products among the provinces was restricted as security measures by the law enforcing agencies.

4. It was confirmed on 28th January that virus of Bird Flu does not exist in the entire country, but unfortunately due to the rumors of its existence, more than 60% of our public refrains from eating poultry products. Poultry Industry is the 2nd largest industry of Pakistan having investment of 75 Billions.

Hence this industry suffered loss of Rs. 01 Billion per day approximately with effect from 26 January 2004 onward. Moreover Representatives of Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO) and European Union, after examinations and Laboratory tests, have declared our poultry products good for human consumption and absolutely disease free. General public became aware of the fact and about 50% people started consuming the chicken products again but reluctantly.



5. From 26th January 2004 onwards, an effective campaign against the baseless propaganda of Bird Flu was launched by Chairman Pakistan Poultry Association (Punjab Zone), Mr. Abdul Basit. He along with a few other poultry leaders, worked day and night to convey the message to masses through Newspapers, Television channels and magazines that Poultry products of Pakistan are absolutely disease free and there is no virus in Pakistan. He arranged Press conferences, Seminars Emergency Meeting, Walks and celebrated Eat Chicken Days. He wrote letters to President of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Governor of Punjab, Chief Minister of Punjab and City Nazim of Lahore to inform them about the prevailing crisis in poultry industry. He wrote a letter to Chairman Pakistan International Air Lines, to lift ban which was imposed on flights of PIA. Chairman Punjab Zone left no stone unturned, to start revival of the industry. Ultimately with his untiring efforts, God helped us and a speedy revival of the industry started. Details of every effort made by Zonal Chairman in brief are described in succeeding paragraphs.

Press Briefing at “Daily Khubrain” Forum
6. On 27 January 2004, A press release issued through newspapers by Pakistan Medical Association that Bird Flue is more injurious than the SARS to the human beings. The news published in different Newspapers and people refrained from eating the chicken meat. The rate of chicken meat fell down to Rs.20.00 per kg from Rs.70.00 per kg at Lahore and other cities of the Punjab. Mr. Abdul Basit rightly visualized its forthcoming serious implications and On the same day he arranged a Press Briefing. Mr. Abdul Basit, Mr. Raza Mehmood Khursand, Dr. Mustafa Kamal, Dr. Muhammad Akram Munir, Dr Khushi Muhammad and Dr. Muhammad Aleem addressed “ Forum of Khubrain” and informed the reporters, that what is Bird Flu and how it spreads over. They informed the forum that H7 and H9 is not at all injurious to the human health. There is no need to be panic. At the same night, Mr. Abdul Basit along with Mr. Raza Mehmood Khursand and Dr. Mustafa Kamal called on DG (R) Dr. Bashir Mehmood Bhatti at his place at late night and at about 2330 hours, on 27 January 2004, released an advertisement from Director General (Research), Government of Punjab, Lahore ( in Urdu) that H7 and H9 virus have no adverse effect on human health and that there is no Bird Flu in Pakistan.

7. On the other hand Newspapers published the news that
“MILLIONS COULD DIE IF BIRD FLU MIXES WITH NEW VIRUS,AND 22 DIED OF HUMAN INFLUENZA THIS MONTH”. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the disease is not infectious; however a number of countries imposed strict checks at their entry and exit points. The WHO has also advised the travelers to avoid visiting poultry farms and any contact with animals in live foods markets. Avian flu outbreak had already been reported in Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Only Thailand and Vietnam had reported human cases of avian flu H5N1 infections in the past two months. On 28th January 2004 Newspapers kept on publishing the news of Bird Flu with photographs of farms of Far Eastern Countries.

A Press Conference by Chairman PPA (Punjab Zone)
8. On 28th of January 2004 Mr. Abdul Basit during the Press briefing, issued a statement and guaranteed the press that there is no existence of bird flu in our country. He said if there is any proof of its existence, He may be hanged and Rs.05 Lac will be paid to the detector of a single case of bird flu in Pakistan. He emphasized the need to create awareness amongst the masses that H5 virus is not at all present in our poultry products. Mr. Raza Mehmood Khursand and Dr. Mustafa Kamal also issued their statements about the fact. PPA urged the government to hold a high level probe to look into the causes of crisis like situation, being faced by poultry sector after the news of bird flu virus in Karachi. Chairman PPA, Mr. Abdul Basit informed the press that news pertaining to bird flu virus has badly hit the poultry industry, as sale of chicken in almost all urban areas of the country has started declining significantly. Similarly prices of chicken are witnessing declining trend. On farm price of chicken which was 55 per kg a few days ago has now decreased to Rs.25 per kg. He added that there might be some groups, which are creating chicken fear among the citizens just to fulfill their ulterior motives .Chairman said that current situation might be created by a group of multinational companies also or businessmen who are bent upon to discourage the use of chicken.

9. Ads by Director General (Research) Government of Punjab, Sponsored by Pakistan poultry Association, kept on publishing in all newspapers to create awareness in the general public. But general public of our country was still scared of eating chicken meat and eggs. Resultantly rates of poultry product went very low.

Federal Ministers Statement about Bird Flue
10. On 29th of January 2004, Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind was influenced by PPA Leaders to issue Press Release about bird flu that bird flu is not fatal for human being. H.E. addressed a news conference at Islamabad and said that ten samples of poultry birds were collected from Karachi and tested in two laboratories in Islamabad and Britain. The results show that the virus is H-7 and H-9, which are not fatal for human being. He added that vaccination produced locally and even exported was being administered by the poultry farmers and the results were satisfactory. Whenever the vaccination had been done, there was no report of this virus. He however said a total of 1.2 million birds died and five hundred thousands were voluntarily destroyed by the poultry farmers in Karachi. He added that H-5 and N-1 had not been found in the laboratory tests conducted in Islamabad as well as in England. He insisted upon repeatedly, that H-7 and H-9 did not cause problem in human beings and as such Pakistan poultry products under current cooking methods, could safely be used for consumption.

11. On 29th January 2004 newspapers published the news that 13 Asian States unite to fight bird flu and Asia hoped that bird flue is no rerun of SARS. Reports were also published in the newspapers on the same day that Well-Cooked chicken is safe. Influenza viruses including the avian type are killed at high temperatures according to the director genera livestock. A fact sheet was also sent to the Federal Health Minister from the office of the WHO’s representative to Pakistan, mentioned this and the website of the World Health Organization too said “It is well known that influenza viruses are killed by adequate heat”. If chicken meat and egg if deep fried long enough or cooked in water or oil for about 10 minutes should be suitable for consumption. Meat or egg should not be used, when rare done or barbecued not well enough.

12. On 30th of January 2004 Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman PPA (Punjab Zone) issued a press release to clarify that the outbreak of avian influenza in Karachi is not the same disease as reported from Southeast Asian countries like Thailand. The strain of bird flu virus isolated and characterized from the outbreaks in Thailand, China and neighboring countries is H5N1. This is a highly pathogenic strain and is of soonotic importance, i.e. human beings can contact the disease. However, the avian influenza types H7 and H9 from the recent outbreak in poultry flocks in Karachi are not reported as communicable to humans. A serious outbreak was reported in 1994, when broiler breeder flocks were affected in northern areas of the country and about a million birds died. Scientists isolated the pure virus and typed it as H7N3. An inactivated vaccine by the isolate was prepared by various laboratories and had been quite effective in controlling the avian influenza problem since 1994.

13. However he said that an outbreak of the avian influenza H9N2 continues to occur, particularly in Karachi and its adjoining areas. This virus isolate was also purified likewise and a vaccine was prepared, which provided satisfactory protection. No human contact has yet been reported from any of the 20,000 poultry farms of the country. But since this virus is a mutagenic one and there is not of antigenic shift and drift in its type, it is strongly recommended that occurrence of various stereotypes in flocks should be monitored.

14. On 31 January 2004, Federal Food Ministry of Pakistan issued a statement after a meeting held with WHO and FAO representatives, that there had been no incident of bird flu in poultry flocks in Karachi but it was fact that avian influenza (AI) infected layer flocks. According to the ministry of food, agriculture and livestock the disease was caused by H7 strain of virus, which does not infect human beings. Due to bio security and preventive measures it was controlled immediately. The ministry added that there was no danger of infection of AI of chicken to human beings, the poultry meat and eggs are therefore safe for human consumption and there is no danger to human life due to their consumption.

15. On the same day in a bid to remove apprehensions of consumers regarding Pakistan chicken and to promote the use of chicken ,Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) held a rally at Faisalabad Chowk. More than 200 traders with Mr. Yousaf Ehsan Khokhar Central Chairman PPA, and businessmen associated with poultry industry marched on the Mall Road Lahore. They were carrying broast chicken and boiled eggs to show the people that Pakistani chicken is safe for public health. They also chanted slogans against the media trial of Pakistani poultry industry.

16. On 07 February 2004 just after the Eid Holidays, an emergency meeting was called by the Chairman PPA( Punjab Zone) to review the situation.
Minutes of Emergency Meeting of Pakistan Poultry Association, Punjab Zone, held on Saturday 07 February 2004 at Secretariat Conference Room, Chauburji Centre Multan Road Lahore. 30 Memebers of PPA and Dr. Bashir Mehmood Bhatti, Director General (research) Government of Punjab attended the meeting.

17. Proceedings of the meeting commenced with recitation from the Holy Quran by Dr. Abdul Ghafoor Chaudhary. Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman Pakistan Poultry Association (Punjab Zone) informed the house that today we will discuss the single point agenda i.e. Fear of Bird Flu in our country, because of which general public is not consuming chicken meat and eggs, which is very alarming for the poultry industry. He said that we must take effective measures by launching awareness campaign on emergency footings, so that our public should know the fact that there is no Bird Flu problem in our country and chicken meat is free from all kind of diseases. Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman emphasized the need to get united in the present circumstances. He informed the house that he is in contact with the government officials and an effective campaign is being started with collaboration to the government to make the masses aware the fact that chicken meat in Pakistan is problem free. An action committee was convened, which was made responsible to take remedial measures against the present crises. Composition of Action Committee was as under:-

a. Mr. Abdul Basit - Chairman Action Committee
b. M. Yousaf Ehsan Khokhar - Chairman PPA Sarhad Members
c. M. Yousaf Ehsan Khokhar - Chairman PPA Sind
d. Dr. Muhammad Sadiq - Hatcheries
e. Mr. Abdul Hayee Mehta - Pharmaceuticals
f. Khalid Saleem Malik - Layer Wing
g. Mr. Raza Mehmood Khursand Broiler Wing
h. Rai Mansab Ali Kharl - Distributors
i. Dr. Zaffar Ul Islam Saddique DCC Sind
j. Mir Tahir Zaidi Layer Hatcheries

18. The action Committee was made responsible to perform the following tasks immediately:-

a. An effective campaign to create awareness amongst the general public that chicken meat and eggs are free from all kind of diseases, will be launched immediately.

b. Funds to meet the expenses of awareness campaign would be generated by the action committee.

c. Funds would be carefully spent on awareness campaign by the committee.

d. A target of Fifty Million Rupees was fixed to be collected from all wings of Poultry Industry of Pakistan.

e. Ministry of Health would be approached to give statement to the national media that there is no fear of Bird Flu in Pakistan.

19. Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman proposed that following relief from the government of Pakistan would be sought:-

a. Compensation of loss occurred to Poultry Sector will be demanded from the government.

b. Income Tax relief for next 10 years will be demanded.

c. Exemption of All kind of taxes on Poultry Industry would be demanded for next 10 years.

20. Before concluding the meeting, Mr. Abdul Basit Chairman, appreciated Dr. Bashir Mehmood Bhatti, presently serving as Director General VRI Ghazi Road Lahore Cantt, for Constant support of our industry at all government forums. At the end Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman thanked the participants once again, for coming and sharing their valuable views, which would definitely be proved beneficial for the betterment of our industry.

21. On 08th February 2004, Dr. Nasir Khan Federal Minister for Health issued a statement at Islamabad that there is no bird flu at all in Pakistan and ensured the general public to don’t hesitate while consuming chicken meat and eggs, as poultry products of Pakistan are absolutely disease free and fit for human consumption. His statement was published in the newspapers.

22. On 10th of April 2004 a Press conference at Lahore Press Club was arranged and Mr. Syed Haroon Ahmed Sultan, Minister for Live Stock and Dairy Development Department, Government of Punjab was invited as Chief Guest. Chairman PPA Punjab Zone, Mr. Abdul Basit, Central Chairman Yousaf Ehsan Khokhar and the Provincial Minister Syed Haroon Ahmed Sultan addressed the press and emphasized the need to clear the minds of our general public from the rumor and baseless propaganda, that there is no such problem of bird flu in poultry products of our country.

23. On 11 February 2004 a press conference by PMA/PPA at Hotel Holiday Inn was arranged. Senior reporters of the all National Newspapers attended the conference. Medical and Veterinary experts said the Bird Flu (H5N1) Avian Virus among birds/chickens which might be dangerous for human consumption, was detected only in those Far Eastern countries, where swine are in abundance. ”Swine act as transmitters of Avian Influenza to chickens”. Dr. Zahid Mohayuddin President PMA said, the chicken infected with H5N1 Avian Virus were not detected here, because there were no swine in Pakistan. Pigs are HARAM (Prohibited) in Islam. Our religion warned us 1400 years ago about the harmful effects of swine on human health, which suggests that there are some scientific reasons for every thing in Islam.

24. Dr.Muhammd Akram Munir, Microbiology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, The PMA Scientific Community’s Chairman Prof Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed, Prof Dr. Yasin Rashid, Prof Dr. Javed Akram. Dr. Shahid Malik, Dr. Khushi Muhammad and Chairman PPA (Punjab Zone) Mr. Abdul Basit spoke to press. All emphasized that people need not get panicky and reduce consumption of chicken items and eggs, which are absolutely safe for consumption in Pakistan. Not a single human case, affected with bird flu virus had been reported in Punjab or anywhere in Pakistan. Chairman added that he is not at all promoting poultry business that he would be first to tell people, if any human case affected with bird flu was reported anywhere in Pakistan. Other PMA’s office bearers including Dr. Azimuddin Zahid and Dr. Dil Muhammad Mirza of PVMA and Dr. Muhammad Arshad also spoke the press.

25. A Meeting was held at 1430 Hours on 11 February 2004 at HOLIDAY INN Hotel to collect funds to launch comprehensive campaign against the self created rumors of bird flu by the media. Following leaders/memebers attended the meeting:-

a. Mr. Abdul Basit Chairman, PPA Punjab Zone

b. Mr. M.Yousaf Ehsan Khokhar Chairman PPA Sarhad Zone

c. Mr. Muhammad Hussain Pattail Chairman PPA Sind Zone

d. Mr. Afsar Qadri Ex Chairman PPA Sind Zone

e. Mr. Khalil Sattar K&N,s

f. Dr. Muhammad Sadiq SB Feeds

g. Dr. Muhammad Aslam Islamabad Feeds

h. Haji Muhammad Bashir National Feeds

i. Dr.Mustafa Kamal Big Bird

j. Dr. Abdul Karim Bhatti Big Feeds

k. Dr. F.M.Sabir Hi-Tech Feeds

l. Mian Naseer Manoo Olympia Feeds

m. Mian Mumtaz Sheikh Khushal Feeds

n. Mian Mumtaz A. Sheikh Pak Group of Industries

o. Khalid Saleem Malik Malik Brothers poultry

p. Qazi Mohammad Akbar Crystal Group of Industries

q. Khan Liaqat Ali Khan Pindi Chicks

r. Syed Mushtaq Ali Khan Ailia Chicks

s. Rai Mansab Ali Kharl Muqeem Shah Poultry Farms

t. Dr. Tehseen Khalid Top Line Chicks

u. Major (Retd) Syed Javaid Bukhari Secretary Punjab Zone

26. Proceedings of the meeting commenced with recitation from Holy Quran . Afterwards Mr. Abdal Basit Chairman PPA, (Punjab Zone) informed the house that today we are here to decide how to launch an effective media campaign to create awareness amongst the general public to convey the message to masses that there is no presence of Bird Flu in our country. He stressed upon the need that we should get united and maximum funds to be collected so that fear of the disease could be removed from their minds.

27. Dr. Muhammad Sadiq informed the house that Federal Government has convened a crises committee. He and Dr Muhammad Aslam are members of that committee. Other members are from government sector. Aim of the committee is to get detailed laboratory analysis of the poultry product. He appreciated the services rendered to the industry at this critical situation, by Dr. Muhammad Aslam, Dr. Muhammad Amjad, Dr. Hassan Sarosh Akram, at Rawalpindi, Mr. Khalil Sattar, Afsar Qadri at Karachi and Mr. Abdul Basit, Mustafa Kamal at Lahore. He added that these all members have done a lot for the industry in the prevailing crises. He informed the house that God is very kind to us that there is no case of Bird Flu in Pakistan. But we have to remove the fear of the disease from the mind of the public through media. It was decided that 20 Million Rupees would be collected from the Leaders of the Poultry industry to spend on the awareness campaign. Following decisions were also made by the leaders to make the campaign effective and bring the industry out of the prevailing crises as soon as possible:-

a. A separate account will be opened in the name of PAKISTAN POULTRY ASSOCIATION and following four leaders or any two of them would operate
the account:-

i. Mr. Abdul Basit
ii. Dr. Muammad Sadiq
iii. Dr. F.M.Sabir
iv. Mian Naseer Manoo

b To overcome the present crises, a media committee will be composed, which will make the strategy to be implemented.

c. Funds collected would be very carefully spent to create awareness amongst the general public through Newspapers and four TV Channels.

d. Other specific strategies were decided to shorten the period of crises as much as possible.

28. A Meeting of the Action Committee was held at 1800 Hours on 11 February 2004 at PPA’s Zonal Secretariat, 17-C, 1st Floor Chauburji Centre,Multan Road Lahore. 31 Leaders/Members of the industry attended the meeting.Proceedings of the meeting commenced with recitation by holy Quran . Afterwards Mr. Abdal Basit Chairman PPA Punjab Zone inform the house about the PRESS BRIEFING arranged by PMA and afterwards leaders of poultry industry met at HOLIDAY INN Hotel to discuss the strategies to rebuilt the confidence of general public. He added that as per decision of the leaders an effective media campaign to create awareness amongst the general public will be launched to make it clear that there is no presence of Bird Flu in our country. To launch the programme a heavy amount would be required. He named the companies which were willingly contributing the heavy amounts into the fund which was being created.

29. Dr. Muhammad Sadiq informed the house that Four TV Channels, i.e. Geo TV, ARY, Indus Vision and PTV and 19 News papers will be utilized for the advertisements. Mr. Abdul Basit, Mr. Raza Mehmood Khursand, Dr. Mustafa Kamal, Mr. Khalil Sattar, Mr. Muhammad Hussain Patail, Mr. Afsar Qaqri, Rai Mansab Ali Kharl,Abdul Hayee Mehta, Mr. Nazar Hussain Alvi and Mr. M. Yousaf Ehsan Khokhar discussed the methods to bring the industry out of the crises as soon as possible. After detailed discussion following decisions were made unanimously:-

a. Advertisements from Ministry of Health had been arranged, which will be published in daily newspapers on alternative days.

b. Documentary Films will be prepared and telecasted through Cable Network in all over the Pakistan, but matter would be the same at all stations.

c. A Walk consisting of about 5000 men will be arranged from Shadman Chowk to Race Course Ground and at the end Lunch(Dishes of Chicken meat ony) will be served to the participants.

d. Efforts would be made to invite dignitaries, Members of Parliament, District Nazim, Chief Minster and Governor of Punjab to participate in the Walk and Lunch.

e. Confidence of our general public is required to be rebuilt and to remove the fear of bird flue from their minds. FM -100 has already started broadcasting the programmes for the purpose.

f. All events should be celebrated in sequence one by one, so that prolonged effect could continue.

30. On 12 February 2004, Pakistan international Airlines (PIA) stopped serving chicken on board its flights in response to passengers concern over bird flu in the country. On the same day personal efforts were made by Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman PPA (Punjab Zone) to lift the ban over the flights of PIA Immediately. A letter to Mr. Ahmed Saeed, Chairman PIAC was written on the same day and as a result serving of chicken items to the passengers on board were restored just after a few days.

31. On 14 February 2004, Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman PPA,(Punjab Zone) Mr. Raza Mehmood Khursand, Convener Consumer Education and Dr. Mustafa Kamal held a meeting with Mr. Aamir Mehmood City Nazim Lahore, in relation to organize a Rally/Walk, starting from Shadman Chowk to Race Course Park having a lunch at the end, with servings of chicken dishes only, to Governor of Punjab and about 5000 People.

32. On 16th February 2004 a special supplement on the eve of Horse and cattle show on BIRD FLU was arranged to be published in Daily Nawai-e-Waqt. An article ”Facts of Bird Flu and its Baseless Fear” written by Mr. Abdul Basit Chairman PPA(Punjab Zone) in urdu was published having its previous history. He very clearly informed the people that poultry products of Pakistan are disease free and have no adverse affect on human health. He added that H-5 and N-1 had not been found in the laboratory tests conducted in Islamabad as well as in England. He pointed out that H-7 and H-9 did not cause problem in human beings and as such Pakistan poultry products under current cooking methods could safely be used for consumption.

33. On 17 February 2004, Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman PPA,(Punjab Zone) Mr. Raza Mehmood Khursand Convener Consumer Education and Dr. Mustafa Kamal addressed to “Daily Din Forum” and demanded that President of Pakistan General Pervaiz Musharaff should address the nation to clarify the fact that there is no presence of Bird Flu virus at all in entire Pakistan. They also demanded that government of Pakistan to announce a relief package for the poultry farmers and exemption of tax for ten years be given to the industry.

34. 2nd Meeting of Hatchery Owners of Pakistan Poultry Association held at 4.30 P.M. on Thursday 19th February 2004 at PPA’s Zonal Secretariat, 17-C, 1st Floor Chauburji Centre, Multan Road Lahore. 14 Leaders of the poultry industry attended the meeting. Proceedings of the meeting commenced with recitation by holy Quran by Mr. Muhammad Amjad. After that Mr. Abdul Basit Chairman PPA (Punjab Zone) informed the house that today’s meeting is called to discuss the strategies to be adopted, to rebuild the confidence of general public. He invited views of the participants one by one, so that an effective course of action could be adopted to improve the prevailing crisis.

35. Mr. Abdul Basit , indicated the encouraging results of implementation of the decisions taken in emergency meeting on 11 February 2004. He said that market position at once, on evening 11 Feb 2004 was entirely changed towards improvement side, that’s why implementation of the decisions was postponed temporarily for the best interest of the industry. Today we are here, to review the situation and to decide whether implementation on the said decision should be taken or otherwise. Dr. Muhammad Sadiq informed the house that present crisis were arisen just because of media and now the position has improved a little bit. He added that people have started again to consume the chicken meat and gradually it will improve automatically.

36. At the end while summing up the meeting, Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman PPA(Punjab Zone) appreciated the companies remitted the donations for awareness campaign and requested the remaining firms to remit their share as soon as possible so that an effective campaign could be continued to bring the industry out of the crisis. Following decisions were also made by the house unanimously:-

a. Decision to cut down the hatching was cancelled with immediate effect, as there was no need to implement it any more.

b. National Poultry Congress-2004 will be organized according to its schedule, i.e. from 9th and 10th of April 2004, but Musical event will not be celebrated in future.

c. Advertisements on Print and Electronic Media would continue.

d. Reminders to the firms/Companies would be issued to remit the donations, on 23 February 2004.

37. On 20 February 2004, Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman PPA,(Punjab Zone) Mr. Raza Mehmood Khursand Converner Consumer Education and Dr. Mustafa Kamal addressed to Daily Din Forum and again demanded that President of Pakistan General Pervaiz Musharaff should address the nation to clarify the fact that there is no presence of Bird Flu virus at all in entire Pakistan. They also demanded that government of Pakistan to announce a relief package for the poultry farmers and exemption of tax for ten years be given to the industry.

38. On 24 February 2004 a press briefing at Lahore Press Club was arranged. Syed Haroon Ahmed Sultan Minister Live stock and Daily Development Department , Government of Punjab was the Chief Guest. Mr. Yousaf Ehsan Khokhar, Central Chairman, Mr. Abdul Basit Chairman Punjab Zone and Provincial Minister Live stock Syed Haroon Ahmed Sultan addressed the press. He emphasized that our press should not give publicity to the things which does not exists at all, rather they should play role to convey the factual position to the readers of their newspaper about bird flu. He announced that appropriate relief package will be given to the poultry industry of Pakistan for its revival.

39. A seminar on bird flu was arranged at Holiday Inn Hotel on 25th of February 2004. Agriculture Minister Muhammad Arshad Lodhi representative of Chief Minister of Punjab, Syed Haroon Ahmed Sultan, Minister Livestock, Dr. Tahir Ali Javed, Health Minister, Dr. Shaukat Raza, Central Chairman Yousaf Ehsan Khokhar, Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman PPA (Punjab Zone), Mr. Raza Mehmood Khursand, Ex Chairman PPA, Dr. Javed Akram ,Dr. Bashir Mehmood Bhatti spoke on the occasion. Livestock Minister, Syed Haroon Ahmed Sultan assured that recommendations given by PPA will be given due consideration. He also made it clear that the government wanted to give maximum facilities to this important sector of the economy. He clearly said that Pakistan was absolutely free form bird flu virus. Health Minister said no bird flu case has been reported in the province. He insisted the people to eat chicken as it was not injurious to human beings. It was all propaganda and the bird flu virus could not adversely affect humans. He stressed setting up mechanism for interconnecting representatives of media and the industry to dispel the propaganda about outbreak of any disease.

40. Chairman PPA Punjab Zone, Mr. Abdul Basit demanded of the government to announce tax relaxations to poultry industry for next ten years. He said the industry had to suffer a loss of Rs.30 Millions. Medical and veterinary experts also threw light on development of poultry industry in the country and technical details about bird flu virus.

41. On 28 February 2004 a meeting with Secretary Live stock and Dairy Development Department was arranged. Mr. Abdul Basit, Chairman PPA (Punjab Zone) Mr. Raza Mehmood Khursand, Dr, Mustafa Kamal and Major (Retd) Syed Javaid Hussain Bukhari, Zonal Secretary PPA attended the meeting. During meeting it was discussed that revival of poultry industry can only be started, if government of Punjab could give financial support to the farmers, like loan on easy installments and exemption of taxes to the industry. Secretary live stock Mr. Muhammad Ather Tahir promised to extend maximum support to the industry. He also ensured the delegation of PPA that he is trying to allot a plot of 4 kanals to PPA at Trade centre ,Johar Town Lahore for its office and place for seminars/training of the farmers.




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