Use of poultry litter as fish feed threatens public health

DC warns of action against this harmful practice

Published : 17 Jan 2024 10:16 PM

Harmful poultry waste and litter are being used in nearly 60 per cent of ponds and tanks as the fish feed of Kishreganj district threatening public health.

The fish in those water bodies are being grown by consuming toxic, chemical-strained poultry litter and waste. Concerned sources have claimed that the consumption of those fish is highly detrimental to the health of the consumers.

It is learnt there is a ban on the use of litter and the waste materials of ducks and cocks and hens. District Fisheries Office sources, however, blamed lack of coordination among agencies and departments for not launching drive against the poultry waste users.

According to sources, there are 30,328 ponds and tanks (dighi) in the district. Of these, at least 60 per cent of ponds and tanks (dighis) use poultry waste as the fish feed.

During a visit from Kishoreganj to Nikli, this Correspondent noticed heaps of poultry litter and waste stored on both sides of nearly one and a half kilometres of roads from the Paglail area. These litter are being used as fish feed in nearly 100 fishery ponds on both sides of the road. The same scenario is noticed in the fishery projects of various upazilas of the district. The passersby through the roads feels highly exhausted at the obnoxious odour of the stored poultry litter. Hundreds of people from various professions including school and college students turned helpless and disgusted at the toxic and obnoxious odour of the litter. 

Local people informed owners of those fisheries who kept the litter stored on both sides of the roads. The obnoxious odour of the litter is so bad and toxic that the passersby often vomit inhaling the odour. They demanded immediate legal action against those environment polluters. 

Sources further informed that those toxic, obnoxious-odoured poultry litter are brought as fish feed by trucks from Gazipur and Bhaluka. The surrounding water bodies are also being polluted due to the indiscriminate use of toxic litter.  By consuming this litter, the bodies of the fish are also turning toxic. These toxic fishes are also being sold in various markets including in the local markets and in Dhaka and other places of the country. The consumers of those fish are also being threatened to be attacked with various incurable diseases. 

Jahangir, the owner of a Fisheries project at Paschim Mathia area under the Danapatuli union of the Sadar Upazila said that he does not have the idea that the use of poultry litter as a fish feed is banned.

Abidur Rahman Bhuiyan, Resident Medical Officer of Shahid Syed Nazrul Islam Medical College informed, the poultry litter contains various types of Antibiotic residue, drug-resistant bacteria and disinfectants. By consuming the litter, fish-body is also turned toxic and the consumption of those fish is very harmful to humans.

Shahidul Islam, District Fisheries Officer informed that there is a ban on the use of poultry birds litter for pisciculture while there is no such ban from the Ministry of Animal Resources. 

Due to the lack of coordination between the two departments, it is not being possible to take action against those using poultry litter as fish feed. 

Dr Shuvash Chandra Pandit, District Animal Resources Officer informed, the cooperation of the District Administration is necessary to take action against that poultry litter users. 

Abul Kalam Azad, Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Kisheganj informed, he is aware of using the poultry litter in the fisheries, ponds and water bodies. Action will be taken against those using poultry litter as the fish, he added.