National Affairs

Poultry Industry Hit By Bird Flu Fears, Chicken Prices Drop By 50%

After the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the country’s poultry industry, it is now reeling under the fresh threat of the bird flueinfection. Due to the fear of bird flu, the sale of chicken and chicken products have been the worst-hit. Especially in north India, the poultry industry has been badly affected by ban on the transportation of hens from one state to another. A delegation from the industry is scheduled to meet the central government on Sunday. The cases of bird flu in poultry chickens have so far been found only in Haryana while most of them have been found in wild birds or migratory birds elsewhere and some cases have also been found in poultry ducks. in the beginning of 2021, the fear of bird flu has increased so much that the demand of chickens and chicken products has decreased by more than 70 per cent, the poultry traders said. Poultry Federation of India President, Ramesh Khatri, told IANS that chicken sales had fallen by almost 70 to 80 per cent over the last three to four days, while prices had fallen by 50 per cent and egg prices had also come down by nearly 15 to 20 per cent. Khatri said the primary reason for the falling demand for chicken is that the movement of poultry from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir has been halted from one state to another. He said that the two farms in which the bird flu has been confirmed in Haryana are both layer farms and not broiler ones. In the layer farms, poultry farming is done for eggs, while in the broiler farms, poultry farming is done for chicken meat. He said he would demand from the central government to save the poultry industry from rumour-mongering of bird flu. A delegation from the poultry industry on Sunday would meet Union Minister Jitendra Singh in which Ramesh Khatri would also be present. Poultry farm operator, Rakesh Manhas, also said he would urge the Central government that the rumours spread about bird flu causes humongous loss to the industry so measures should be taken to prevent such a situation. The Union Animal Husbandry Ministry also said in the seven states where there were confirmed cases of bird flu on Saturday, only the reports of bird flu in poultry-chickens in Haryana has been confirmed.

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