The Zambia Poultry Association (PAZ) has refuted claims that some poultry farmers were mixing HIV-AIDS drugs into chicken feed to speed up growth and weight of their birds.
“It is simply not true. Mixing ARVs into chicken feed will simply result into death for the chickens,” said Percival Mwela, PAZ chairperson.
‘It is simply not true.’
Mwela was responding to claims on social media that unscrupulous poultry farmers were using HIV-AIDS drugs to speed up the growth of chickens. Some quarters alleged that part of the motivation was to mitigate the high cost of feed.
However, Mwela said that the only chemicals fed to chickens were given in the form of vaccines that were internationally acceptable. “Just like in humans, chickens are also given vaccines that produce antibodies. The vaccines protect the chickens from diseases, and these vaccines are safe,” he said.
The poultry industry in Zambia has continued to face high feed costs. This was putting margins under pressure. Since 2015, price and profitability swings had become an ongoing issues industry.
Mwela said that the industry had responded to the challenge by introducing a combination of ingredients available at an affordable cost. “These new feeds are being sold at lower prices and therefore give farmers a better option as far as feeding birds is concerned,” he said.