Government notification suspending poultry production is fake

Why did the chicken cross the road? To escape misinformation!

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Claim: The “GOP Health Department” issued a notice announcing an immediate ban on poultry due to the presence of Covid-19.
Fact: Various official sources clarified that no such notification has been issued. Covid-19 cannot spread to poultry.

The following image of an alleged government notification dated 4 June 2020 was received by Soch Fact Check on Twitter.

The claim crossed platforms and was widely shared on Twitter and WhatsApp. It was also Tweeted by Omar Qureshi, a well-known Pakistani journalist with a verified account and 221.2k followers.

On the same day, 4 June 2020, the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad clarified on social media that the notification is “fake”. The DC Islamabad was referred to in the viral image as one of the recipients of the notification letter.

On 5 May 2020, the secretary of Punjab’s Department of Primary and Secondary Healthcare retired captain Muhammad Usman Younis, issued a video statement on the issue. He explained that no such notification has been issued.

Translation: I would like to make a clarification regarding the notification about chicken that is circulating on social media, that this notification is fake. The department of primary and secondary healthcare has not issued any such notification. We do not have any information regarding any research into Covid in poultry. Please do not pay heed to these rumors, and i would clarify once again that the notification in question is fake.

Strangely, the notification only carries the name of “health department”, but no such department exists. Health related notifications from the Punjab Government are issued by the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, or the Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department. It is clear the notification in question was doctored.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also states on its Covid-19 information page that recent research found that chickens do not transmit the virus. They also clarified that there is no evidence that the virus can be transferred through eating the meat of an animal, even if it contracted the disease before being slaughtered for meat.

Soch Fact Check has been receiving doctored government notifications increasingly frequently. On 21 May 2020, we published an article debunking a fake government notification regarding the reopening of liquor shops in the capital. If you come across a government notification on social media that seems suspicious, submit it to us for verification.

Summary: The government notice that went viral yesterday regarding a ban on poultry is fake. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that Covid-19 may be transmitted through poultry and the government has not banned poultry production.

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