University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Talat Naseer Pasha has urged scientists to equip themselves with the latest knowledge and skills to cope with Newcastle disease which is causing huge economic losses. He was addressing the inaugural session of a national workshop on “Newcastle disease, its prevention and control” arranged by the university in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission and Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA).
Professor Pasha said that poultry industry was the second largest and fastest growing industry in Pakistan but it unfortunately had faced severe challenges like Newcastle disease (Rani khet) in recent years. The disease caused Rs 7 billion economic loss to commercial farmers in Punjab alone, he added. He said that the purpose of the conference was to make a combined strategy in collaboration with the industry to control and prevent the fatal Newcastle disease. He identified farm-to-farm short distances, improper bios-security and lack of farm management skills as the real factors behind the spread of Newcastle disease.
The Vice-Chancellor said that the university was focusing on technology development and producing skilled human resource needed in livestock and allied industries. He assured the industry representatives that the university would provide all-out technical support to the industry and farmers to face challenges. A leading poultry farmer Dr Mustfa Kamal gave a detailed presentation on Newcastle disease and recommended valuable suggestions for its prevention. He said that the Newcastle spray vaccine was more effective to save the chicks from the disease.
Punjab Agriculture Research Board Chief Executive Officer Dr Mubarik Ali, Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Department Additional Secretary Ramzan Shahid, PPA North-zone President Dr Ghulam Mehboob, Poultry Consultant Dr Hanif Chaudhry and experts from NARC, Veterinary Research Institute and UVAS also spoke about various aspects of the disease, its prevention and control.