In a move to regulate the poultry sector in the state, the animal husbandry commissionerate has issued advisories for regulation and registration of poultry farms. Now, farms with more than 5,000 poultry birds or with capacity of hatching 500 eggs per cycle will require compulsory registration.
Kantilal Umap, commissioner, animal husbandry, said there are more than 19,000 establishments that will now require registration. “Most of those farms are at taluka levels and it will be relatively easier for them to get registered,” he said. Umap said the advisories are issued in accordance to the directions of the Bombay High Court, which had asked for such advisories to be issued while hearing a public interest litigation in June. Going forward, poultry farms will not be able to start functioning without such registration.
Other than registration, the advisories also include a series of dos and don’ts for the sector. In particular, poultry farmers are prohibited from giving growth hormones and phosphate to birds. Usage of antibiotics will be regulated and a cooling off period of seven days should be kept before such birds are sold in the market for human consumption. Municipal corporations and councils will be required to collect samples of poultry meat from local market for testing at regular intervals. Also, norms have been set for proper transportation of poultry animals.
Reports of usage of antibiotics in poultry industry have become a major concern for India. While the industry had refused allegations, some reports have flagged the industry for excess usage of antibiotics. The industry had also faced criticism from various quarters in regards to handling of the birds and their transportation.
Meanwhile, the poultry industry has given a cautious welcome to the move. Prasanna Pedgaonkar, deputy general manager of Venkateshwara Hatcheries, a Pune-based poultry firm, said the industry was following most of the advisories already. “We had a meeting with the commissioner and asked him to ensure the process of the registration is kept easy,” he said. Raju Bhosale, executive member of the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) said, “The registration process should be kept easy.”