Monday, 06 December 2021 02:50 GMT

MoAF says Omani poultrynot fed on growth hormones


(MENAFN- Muscat Daily) In response to news circulating in Arabic media regarding the quality of meat in Oman and use of hormones in poultry the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) has stated that it does not spare any effort in maintaining animal wealth and combating animal diseases.

A ministry statement said that increased consumption of poultry and poultry products may have raised concern among many consumers. 'This may be the main reason for people to be influenced by rumours about companies using hormones in poultry production. It is worth pointing out here that the restriction on use of hormones in the fattening of poultry has been an international procedure for several decades.'

The concern among consumers mostly arises because of what they observe or hear about the rapid growth of poultry sometimes gaining weights of up to more than 1200g in six to eight weeks the  ministry said.

'And when they compare the growth of farm poultry to local (home grown) chicken which only grows to 700g  to 1000g in six months or sometime a year the consumers think of use of hormones in fattening the poultry.'  

The ministry added that this is not the case. 'The science involved in poultry production has progressed immensely. There are breeds of poultry specialised only in egg production and there are other strains that specialise in meat production. Breeds are chosen for their growth and performance which gain high weights within a few weeks if they get the proper care and adequate nutrition.'

There are three main reasons for the rapid growth rate seen in today's commercial poultry but none of them is related to hormones according to The Poultry Site leaders in research on the poultry industry.

The first is the success of primary breeder companies in selecting the best birds for growth and performance. For the past several decades geneticists have been able to cut roughly one day per year off the time it takes to reach a specified target weight. 'They have benefited from the short generation interval (lifespan) of the chicken allowing them to make huge strides in a short period of time' the research said. 

Second is research related to nutritional requirements of the bird. Poultry breeders now know exactly what should be given in feed to different genetic strains and birds are kept to specific target weights in terms of energy protein vitamins and minerals to optimise performance and growth.

Third there is better understanding about the kind of environment the bird needs to make the most of the genetic and nutritional potential it has.

To ensure the safety of animal products before they reach the consumer the ministry has conducted several studies to check and detect the use of antibiotics and hormones in poultry meat imported and produced locally. 'The ministry recently conducted a study on the use of antibiotics in poultry products produced in the sultanate. The results indicate the presence of different levels of antibiotics in poultry meat within the permissible limit and does not pose a risk to consumers.'

The ministry also clarified on the procedures followed in the import of animal feed which include several measures including that feed is free from any pathogen and any other harmful materials and substances forbidden in Islamic law.

It checks if the feed is free of any animal products or wastes (except fish and milk) and demands proof that it has been processed and manufactured in accordance with the requirements of good manufacturing practices under the full supervision of the health authorities and veterinary experts.


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