LAHORE – The Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) has said that poultry farmers are not using growth hormones or steroids for a swift increase in the weight of chicken.
Poultry Research Institute Director Dr Abdul Rehman observed that the reason for the rapid growth in chicken weight is actually the tremendous progress made in poultrygenetics , nutrition, housing, management practices, disease control and disease eradication. He insisted that the chicken available in Pakistan was genetically the same as that available in the US, Europe, India, Brazil, Argentina, China and elsewhere in the world.
PPA (NZ) Chairman Dr Arshad Hanif said that in Pakistan, the chick takes about six weeks to gain the same weight. The chicken once considered a luxury has now become the cheapest source of animal protein in Pakistan, so it is absolutely safe to eat chicken which is full of vitamins and proteins. He pointed out that worldwide only three majorpoultry genetic companies were constantly doing research and selecting breeds for better weight gain, disease resistance and improved digestive system for better absorption of nutrients to reduce the feed cost. Quoting the recent nutrition survey of the World Bank, he revealed that Pakistan is included in countries where severe stunting in young children is found at alarming level. The poultry as an industry is committed to bridge this protein and nutrition gap by providing chicken meat and eggs at very affordable rates. “Therefore, we are already consuming less protein as per required standards,” he added.
He said that poultry sector generates employment and provides source of income to more than 1.5 million people of Pakistan. He concluded that efforts should be made to make people cognizant of the facts to increase egg and meat consumption and to ensure the good health of people since only a healthy generation can take a country to the pinnacle of progress and prosperity.
Dr Rehman pointed out that there would be a massive increase in the import of hormones, had the poultry industry been using them. He said that imports will be reflected in the Customs data as Pakistan produces over 1.2 billion broiler chicken annually and is the 11th largest producer in the world. On the basis of rapid weight gain, the consumers jump to the conclusion that they are fed hormones. Since the chicken gain weight faster in the US, it should be asked whether they too give hormones and steroids.
Source The Nation