Newcastle Disease is estimated to have killed over 44 million broilers in the last five months, according to speakers at a meeting held at the University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences (UVAS) in Lahore, Pakistan.
Punjab Agriculture and Livestock Minister Ahmad Ali Aulakh presided the meeting. Forestry, Wildlife and Fishery Secretary Shahnawaz Badar, Livestock Dairy Development Department Additional Secretary Khalid Awais Ranjha, Pakistan Poultry Association chairman Dr Arshad Hanif and veterinary scientists attended the meeting.
The vice chancellor of UVAS, Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha, said that in the Punjab alone the cost to poultry farms amounted to PKR 6 billion (~€756,000).
The VC said that the tremendous losses the industry incurred were due to a number of factors: the proximity of the stricken farms to one another, the lack of farm management skills, and the low bio-security. He further said that UVAS is currently coming up with solutions for countering future outbreaks and, with the help of the Veterinary Research Institute and Pakistan Poultry Association, developing a vaccine against Newcastle Disease.
Punjab Agriculture and Livestock Minister Aulakh said veterinarians should chalk out a strategy to eradicate Newcastle Disease.