Given the lack of testing capacity in the country for certain tests, the Department of Livestock (DoL) sent the Karma Feeds sample for poultry feed to laboratories in India and Thailand.
Poultry farmers in the country shared that the Department of Livestock is taking too much time in acquiring the test results.
A poultry farmer, Dorji, from Bumthang said that despite the fact that the department stated that the feed samples were sent abroad, it has been nearly four months and the department is either not declaring the results or hiding it.
“As per the department’s officer, the country lacks testing capacity, therefore it was sent abroad and they are awaiting the outcome. Farmers were impacted by the unprecedented incident, yet the compensation we received was inadequate. According to the department, the results will be released soon, and action will be performed in accordance with the findings. Since our birds were impacted in December of last year, we have not been able to fully recover. I don’t think the results should have taken so long to reach the country; it’s been almost four months. As a result, we have the feeling that the department prefers to keep the facts hidden rather than reveal it,” he said.
Farmers would be pleased, he remarked, if they knew the results. “The scenario may repeat itself in the future if the results are suppressed and nothing is done,” he said.
Pranai Pradhan, a poultry owner in Samtse said that the company came to compensate them, but the compensation doesn’t amount to the total loss they incurred.
He stated that the receipt stated that this is full and final reimbursement, implying that they will not be held liable if anything happens to the birds.
“Because I am educated, I understood what the receipt meant, although other farmers did not. I have also stated in writing that I will not take the compensation for the reasons stated. The first is that it is extremely low, and the second is that the receipt specifies that it is full and final recompense. I received a call from the company as well, and I explained the same reason and told them that I have a loan to pay. I’m not sure if they’ll boost the compensation amount and compensate me,” he said.
He said, “I think the department is trying to hide the result. It has been three to four months now and I feel that the toxin in the samples must have evaporated by now. Even if they test that feed, I don’t think they’ll find anything. However, I’m not sure if they’re taking their time compiling the results.”
However, Hom Nath Thapa of Tsirang Poultry Cooperative said that the poultry farmers in the dzongkhags have not inquired about the findings, and the cooperative have not received any information either, they believe that the results have not arrived in the country.
“The problem was also resolved, and Karma Feeds compensated the affected framers, and production has resumed and is running smoothly. Farmers are fine with it, and we have received no complaints,” he said.
Meanwhile, Department of Livestock’s principal feed and fodder development officer, Ganga Maya Rizal said that the department has the test results, but all are not complete. The department has to depend on ex-country’s test results.
She stated that the department has received some test results from Thailand, but that they were unable to do the tests as requested.”We’re waiting for another round of samples result,” she stated.
She added, “We are waiting one test parameter from India. The lab says our samples are in queue. Once all test results are complete the department will share to the ministry first and then it will be made public through the department or ministry.”
She added that as soon as this result is available to the department, the ministry will apprise to conclude with the issue.’
Over thousands of birds died and thousands of birds were affected across the country on December 2021 due to the suspected tainted feeds.
A similar incident occurred in January 2022, when a total of 451 cattle and 122 horses were affected of which 17 horses died in Thimphu, Haa and Paro.