The Pakistani Prime Minister, Shaukat Aziz has been urged by the Poultry Association of Pakistan to announce a compensatory relief package for the poultry industry. The industry is under crisis over the past several days due to wedding meal ban, the bird flu scare and the earthquake that hit the country on the 8th of October.
Abdul Basit, Senior Vice President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) presented a letter to the Prime Minister, highlighting the pathetic situation of the poultry industry. It also pointed out that no new investment is being directed to the poultry sector, which plays a major role in the overall economy of the country.
This fast growing industry, which accounts for a major proportion of the government revenue, received the first blow when the Pakistan Government imposed a ban on serving food at weddings in 1997. This ban on wedding meal has led millions of people to suffer. The second blow was due to spread of rumors regarding bird flu in the year 2003. However, no solid proof of the disease was confirmed until 2004.
In view of the grave situation, the association has urged the government to lift the wedding meal ban at the earliest to help the industry recover. Additionally, the government has been requested to serve alteast one dish even if it is unable to serve the entire menu at weddings.
The Prime Mister has further been requested to give attention to the observations of the World Health Organization (WHO), which states that well cooked chicken and other poultry products are safe for human consumption. The Association members also pointed out to 'Chicken Melas' being conducted to alleviate bird flu fears among the general public.
This would not only encourage chicken consumption in the country, but would ensure that millions of jobless people have their jobs restored. Local traders, prompted by bird flu scare have already turned on to India for import of beef and mutton, unmindful of the origin of the roots of the mad cow disease.