Chicken is Safe and Healthy, has NOTHING to do with Corona Virus: Karnataka Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association ( KPFBA)
Mangaluru: As fake news of chicken infected from Novel Coronavirus (COVID2019) has been making the rounds in Bengaluru and elsewhere, the Karnataka Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association (KPFBA) which did ‘fact checks’ said that some ‘vested interests’ are ‘harming’ the poultry sector which is not even ‘remotely connected’ to the virus. The President of KPFBA, Dr. Sushanth Rai has emphatically stated that some vested interests are spreading ‘fake news’ on social media about chicken and corona-virus when there is absolutely no connection between the two.
Even reports from China where the virus has had the most lethal impact, scientists and researchers who performed detailed bio-informatics analysis of the sequence of 2019-nCoV have suggested that the corona-virus might have come from snakes. The KPFBA President said with ‘fake news’ spreading on social media, the poultry sector was going through a crisis. “Such misinformation is like a double-edged sword, on the one hand fear is created among consumers thus depriving them of protein-rich and healthy food, and on the other, the farmer who is the backbone of the Indian economy, is economically affected due to low off-take of chicken.”
Poultry sales had drastically come down due to the misinformation campaign, he said and reiterated that poultry meat and products are safe for consumption. Dr. Sushanth Rai cited the clarification from the Union Ministry of Animal Husbandry which categorically states that poultry was not found to be involved in the transmission of COVID2019 to humans in any report globally. The Animal Husbandry Commissioner, Praveen Malik in a February 11 letter to the Poultry Federation of India said, “In this context, this is to clarify that the predominant route of transmission of 2019 nCoV, appears to be human to human, as per World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) through 2019 nCoV may not have had an animal source, which requires further investigation.”
The Animal Husbandry Commissioner also mentioned that ‘similar viral outbreaks of corona-virus in past (SARS 2002-03, MERS 2012-13) or corona-associated common cold had no involvement of poultry and poultry products world over. The Commissioner further said “Thus, with knowledge of present affairs of 2019 nCoV, consumption of poultry and poultry products may be considered safe. The general principles of hygiene, however, may be followed as per the suggestions of World Health Organisation or OIE.” Dr. Sushanth Rai urged the mainline media to help combat the menace of ‘fake news’ which has been affecting in more ways than one.
Presently, both the consumers and the poultry farmers are affected by such rumours. It may be mentioned here that in the February 13 press conference by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan who is monitoring India’s preparedness on COVID2019, there is no mention of poultry products impacting health.
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