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Despite ban, chicken smuggling continues unabated

Despite ban, chicken smuggling continues unabated

Jan 30, 2019 - 15:05

KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Despite a Ministry of Agricultureinfo-icon, Irrigation and Livestock (MoAIL) ban, chickens are still being smuggled into Afghanistaninfo-icon through different routes.

Chicken imports and smuggling not only damage the domestic industry and markets but also cause heart problems and stomach cancers. Chicken consumption has also been linked to other diseases.

The MoAIL has restricted imports of breeder chickens but they are still being smuggled into the country through smuggling routes, they are openly being sold in markets.

Most of the chickens are brought to Afghanistan packed in cartons from Pakistaninfo-icon, Iran and Brazil.

Kandahar Agriculture Extension Director Eng. Mohammadullah Noori told Pajhwok Afghan News the use of breeder meat had been banned all over the worldinfo-icon but it was still sold in Afghan markets.

In the solar yearinfo-icon 1394, the World Organization for Animal Healthinfo-icon and the Afghan government jointly announced a ban on the sale and purchase of certain chickens, he said.

But the decision has not been implemented due to administrative corruption. MoAIL curbed trade in breeder chickens and took serious measures in this regard in May 2018.

Noori informed that despite restrictions, several vehicles laden with chickens were smuggled into the Arghistan district of Kandahar from Pakistan a few days back. The agriculture department has contacted the district administrative chief on the issue.

Chickens were also smuggled to remote provinces in darkness of night, the official said, alleging the involvement of a mafia group, having link with Pakistani farmers, in the illegal practice.

He explained traders purchased two to five kilograms of chicken for 50-70 Pakistani rupees and sold it for 100 afghanis.

Injurious to health

There are two kinds of chickens -- breeder and layer. Breeder chickens lay eggs for two years. Later on, they should be buried professionally.

Layer hens have two types of golden and white colours. Noori said these hens should also be eliminated after two year of laying eggs.

He added their meat was hard and of low quality, but Afghan traders artificially raise them on fluoride, antibiotics, vaccines and hormones.

The chemicals result in cancer of stomach, heart and kidneys, the official said, asking the people to avoid consuming the meat of such chickens that caused many ailments.

The agriculture official continued frozen chickens were also imported to Afghanistan packed in cartons from Pakistan, Iran and Brazil. Such imports are harmful for human health.

Noori recalled the MoAIL announcement that chickens traders would be referred to judicial organs. But no action has been taken against them so far.

A joint team of agriculture and municipality officials has been tasked with monitoring trade in certain types of chickens, but their smuggling is yet to be curbed.

Animal Health Director Dr. Fahim said they had warned shopkeepers against the sale of these chickens during monitoring. Violators would be brought to justice, the shopkeepers were told.

He said the joint team monitors markets on a daily basis and allows nobody to sell these chickens.

Chicken farm committee head Haji Nasrullah welcomed the MoAIL decision and pledged all-out cooperation on prevention of such sales. He told Pajhwok imported chickens were not only harmful for health but also negatively impacted on domestic products.

He urged the ministry to implement the ban on the smuggling of breeder chickens and promote domestic products that were useful for health. Such a move will help boost the local economy.

He claimed chicken farms in Kandahar could meet the provincial requirement. There was no need for imports from foreign countries, he maintained.

The Agriculture Department says chicken farms have seen a lot of development in recent years. About 500 million afghanis have been spent on this sector. About 470 poultry farms are active – 13 of them producing eggs and the rest offering meat.

These farms produce 45,000 kilograms of meat -- 30,000 kilograms used in Kandahar and the remaining 15,000 kilograms supplied to other provinces. The farms fully meet the need for chicken meat.


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