The local poultry industry aims to produce completely safe, antibiotic-free meat and eggs by 2024, one of the sector's leaders said yesterday.
Shamsul Arefin Khaled, president of World's Poultry Science Association Bangladesh Branch (WPSA-BB), was addressing a discussion organised jointly by the WPSA-BB and Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC) at National Press Club in Dhaka.
The announcement of two international events on poultry industry, starting in Dhaka on March 5, came from the discussion. Around 230 local and international companies are expected to take part in the events. Unwarranted use of antibiotics takes place in poultry, in some cases for lack of scientific knowledge and training for farmers as well as inappropriate farming practices, industry stakeholders said at the discussion.
However, Khaled said, there was no reason to be alarmed, according to a press release of the WPSA-BB.
“We are working to develop model poultry farms with an objective to facilitate safe production of poultry products.”
“We are giving more emphasis on production of safe poultry in order to help build a healthy nation,” he said, adding that there would be no question regarding quality of feed if they got government support.
Antibiotics are sold directly to customer from medicine stores although these are not over-the-counter drugs and such sales devoid of prescriptions are prohibited, Hiresh Ranjan Bhowmik, director general of the Department of Livestock Services, said at the event.
Unauthorised sale of antibiotics by the drug shops will have to be stopped, Bhowmik said.
“We hope Bangladesh Drug Administration will be cautious on it,” he said, adding that the Department of Livestock Services framed a law to ensure production and sales of safe livestock feed.
The department is working to amend and update the existing Poultry Development Policy, according to Bhowmik.
There is no plastic egg in Bangladesh, he said.
Every person should take more eggs and meat in the country to build a healthy nation, said Nathu Ram Sarker, director general of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI).
The country needs to produce 1,500 crore eggs and 20 lakh tonnes of poultry meat to meet its demand by 2021, said Yashmin Rahman, vice president of the WPSA-BB.
There is no alternative to flourishing the poultry sector in the bid to cut poverty, malnutrition and child and maternal mortality rate, ensure a developed rural economy and create more jobs, Rahman said.
The annual commercial production of eggs and poultry meat is 1,022 crore pieces and 14.6 lakh tonnes respectively, according to data of the BPICC, which represents the Tk 30,000 crore-worth poultry industry.