Smaller poultry farms with over 5,000 birds at a single location will have to obtain a consent to establish and operate under the Water Act, 1974 and Air Act, 1981 from the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or Pollution Control Committee (PCC) from January next year.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), following the recent direction from the National Green Tribunal last month, has revised the guidelines that are applicable for all category of poultry farms. Presently, such consent norms are applicable for large farms with over 1 lakh birds, as per the guidelines developed by CPCB in 2015.

According to CPCB, the animal husbandry department of the state/districts will assist the poultry farms for implementation of new guidelines. The poultry farms are categorised under the Green Category and the validity of the consent will be for 15 years.

Addressing environmental issues

CPCB said new poultry farms being set up after the issuance of guidelines should preferably be established 500 metres from residential zones to avoid nuisance caused by the odour and flies, and 100 metres from major water course like rivers, lakes, canals and drinking water sources to avoid contamination due to leakage and spillages.

Also, the revised norms are aimed at addressing the environmental issues of poultry farms such as minimisation of odour and gaseous pollution through proper ventilation, handling of solid waste and hatchery debris, collection, storage and composting of manure and disposal of dead birds among others.

Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal are the leading states in poultry sector followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Haryana, Kerala and Odisha. According to the 20 th livestock census by Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, India has over 851 million poultry birds.

Sources said as the poultry farms, especially the smaller ones are in un-organised sector and largely run by the small farmers, the new norms would add up to the operational costs. The new norms are being implemented at a time when the poultry farms are still reeling under the impact of Covid-19, which has severely affected the sector.