Nearly half of 115,000 poultry farms have faced closure over the past one and a half years, a platform of poultry farmers said yesterday.
Bangladesh Poultry Khamar Rokkha Jatiya Parishad blamed the government for not doing enough to tackle avian influenza that shut 54,000 poultry farms over the past one and a half years. The body that promises to protect poultry farms complained of inadequate compensation for the disease-affected farms, according to The Daily Star.
"Production in the farms that are still in operation have declined due to supply shortfall of day-old chicks and increased production costs," Khandker Mohammad Mohsin, general secretary of the 8,000-member platform, told reporters at the National Press Club.
Representatives of poultry farmers from divisions were also present on the occasion. Mr Mohsin said reduced production of eggs and chicken caused the prices of poultry products to go up in recent months.
Mr Mohsin also said the sector which became self-sufficient and started exports before the first bird flu attack in March 2007, is now on the verge of gradual extinction due to 'faulty' policy of the government.
"Although the law prohibits imports of egg and day-old chick from any bird flu-infected country, the government is allowing traders to import eggs from India, where bird flu still prevails," said Mohsin, citing import documents.
"It is a self-contradictory stance of the government, and a violation of international norms," he said.
Mr Mohsin also said as per rule of World Organisation for Animal Health, a member country cannot import eggs and day-old chicks from a bird flu-infected country.
"To reduce the burden on consumers of increased prices, we urge the government to allow imports from bird flu-free countries, and not from any infected country," he said.
To prevent bird flu, the body urged the government to allow domestic production and imports of vaccines.
It also demanded the government increase the amount of compensation for the culled bird of bird flu-affected farms so that farmers can recover their investments and resume farming.
The Poultry Site News Desk