STAFF REPORT LHR: The poultry industry is facing many challenges in Pakistan. One of the most important threats is Newcastle diseases and avian influenza viruses (H9N2) are prevailing in live bird markets in the country, which is haunting the investments and growth rate of poultry industry.

According to Dr Mobeen Sarwar, PhD scholar at Department of Microbiology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, these live birds in the markets are potential source of the virus spread.

Following sanitary measures along with monitoring of live bird markets of large cities for avian influenza viruses may be adopted to avoid any bird flu outbreak in near future, he said.

Fresh research suggests that the Avian influenza is a viral disease caused by different serotypes of Avian influenza virus. Among different serotypes, few years back, H5N1 and H7N3 were detected in poultry that had caused high mortalities in commercial poultry flocks. One serotype H9N2 is a common endemic strains that has been prevailing in commercial, rural birds and birds at poultry meat shops.

The paper also suggests adoption of strict bio-security measures and routine disinfection of the poultry farms may help prevent the outbreaks of the disease.

According to the paper in Pakistan, poultry business is one of the largest entrepreneur worth over Rs 200 billion investments. It has shown a robust growth of 15-20 per cent annually, which reflects its inherent potential.

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