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This file photo shows the Peshawar High Court. — APP/File

PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Tuesday conditionally relaxed the government ban on the chicken’s transportation to Afghanistan from the province declaring if its farm rate in Chakwal district goes beyond Rs240 per kg, the export should be suspended.

Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid and Justice Shakeel Ahmad added that the export of day-old chick should continue if it was sold by Rs70 in the local market.

The bench directed the federal government to produce a report about the import and export of soybean, which, the poultry dealers claim, is used in the making of poultry feed and whose price hike affects chicken rates.

It issued the orders in accordance with the recommendations of a committee of stakeholders, including government officials and representatives of poultry dealers, which suggested the linking of the transportation of chicken and day-old chicks to Afghanistan with certain maximum prices.

Orders halt to chicken supply to Afghanistan if farm rate goes beyond Rs240 per kg

The committee has suggested that the farm gate rate in Chakwal, from where most of the broilers are supplied to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, should be Rs240 per kg and if the price exceeds that limit, its transportation out of the country should be banned.

It also suggested that the price of day-old chick should be Rs70 at maximum and if that limit was crosses, then that chick’s export should be stopped.

In Sept this year, the court had vacated a stay order against the transportation of cattle and poultry products to Afghanistan and allowed the resumption of their export. However, action on the decision was linked to the reduction of prices in the local market.

The court had allowed the food department to ban the export of poultry products in case of increase in their rates beyond those decided by stakeholders.

Last month, the food department banned the transportation of poultry products, including chickens and day-old chicks, to Afghanistan.

However, the court had allowed transportation of day-old chicks to Afghanistan on Oct 26 but declined to relax the ban on chicken export.

The bench was hearing two petitions filed by citizens Hafeezur Rehman and Malik Sheharyar about high prices of dairy products, adulteration of milk and other related issues.

The court had ordered the deputy commissioners in May this year to stop the transportation and smuggling of poultry products to Afghanistan.

In June, it had again ordered administrative officers of different districts to ensure a halt to the smuggling of cattle to Afghanistan.

Besides additional advocate general Syed Sikander Hayat Shah, several officials also appeared before the bench, including food secretary Khushal Khan, who has earlier been nominated as the focal person by the court in these issues, and a representative of the livestock department.

Advocates Babar Khan Yousafzai, Isaac Ali Qazi, Abdur Rauf Rohaila, Bahlol Khattak and Ijaz Khan appeared for poultry associations and companies, including the provincial chapter of the Pakistan Poultry Association.

The lawyers insisted that one of the key ingredients of poultry feed was soybean, which was mostly imported by the government.

They added that soybean was also transported abroad causing the prices of poultry feed to increase.

The counsel said if the prices of soybean remained stable, it would helped stabilise poultry feed prices.

They requested the bench to relax the government ban on transportation of chickens to Afghanistan in accordance with the recommendations of the committee and link the relaxation with the farm prices of chickens.

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