Bird flu outbreak lowers chicken sales, poultry farmers affected, report says

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Amid a bird flu scare, stores selling poultry meat in the nation’s capital said on Friday they had seen sales decline 20 to 25 percent in recent weeks.

A Delhi government official said on Friday that around 50 birds, mostly crows, had died in Dwarka, Mayur Vihar Phase-III and Hastsal in West Delhi in the past three to four days.

According to the President of the Indian Poultry Federation, Ramesh Khatri, “There has been no outbreak of bird flu among broilers anywhere in the country. Yet their prices have fallen by as much as 50% to the level of the farm because of the feelings “.

In northern India, the farm gate price of broiler chicken fell to Rs 50 per kg on Friday from Rs 100 per kg. Egg rates also fell to Rs 5 per piece, from Rs 5.30 per piece, he said.

As a result, the demand for chicken from restaurants and hotels has fallen sharply, he added.

Irshad Kureishi, general secretary of the Delhi Meat Merchants Association, said: “Since the news of bird flu came out, sales of chicken have dropped by at least 20%.

“We understand that customers go crazy and stop buying chicken as a precaution, but it’s important to know that once it’s cooked properly there is no risk to health,” he said. .



According to him, the fall in the price of chicken from “200 Rs per kg to 150 Rs per kg is a loss for both poultry farmers and traders”.

He added that the impact of fear of bird flu on their business came while they were still grappling with the effects of COVID-19.

“We have not yet resumed our pre-COVID-19 activities as restaurants no longer order meat in the same quantities. ‘made it worse, “he said.

To reassure their customers, Kureishi said the Delhi Meat Merchants Association has sent a set of new guidelines to all of its “6,000 licensed member meat shops” to ensure top-notch hygiene practices.

“We have released a new set of guidelines for our members on keeping the store clean, storing only the required amounts of meat, tackling the threat of flies and more,” he said. declared.

The general manager of the Venky (India) poultry company, Prasanna Pedgaonkar, said prices had fallen due to a panic reaction, adding that it was a temporary disruption and prices would see a correction in the next 10 to 15 days ”,

The drop in broiler chicken prices has varied by city. For example, the farm gate price of broiler chicken fell to Rs 70 per kg on Friday, from Rs 85 per kg a fortnight ago, he said.

Pedgaonkar said there was a localized impact on bird flu prices reported in four states due to government actions.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Thursday that no cases of bird flu had yet been reported in Delhi, but asked authorities to closely monitor poultry from neighboring states to prevent infection. .

The Center said on Wednesday that an outbreak of bird flu or bird flu had been reported in 12 epicenters in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, while Haryana is on high alert due to of unusual mortality in the poultry farms of Panchkula.

Since the fear of bird flu started in Delhi, “every day is a Tuesday,” said Ravinder Pal Singh of Sardar, A Pure Meat Shop in Dwarka.

“The news about bird flu has had a huge impact on our sales. We have hardly sold chicken since last week. It’s like every day is a Tuesday when we close our store because people prefer not to consume meat on this day, “he said, adding that their 52 outlets across the NCR are facing a similar situation.

Sisodia on Thursday in a meeting with officials from the Development Department’s livestock unit took stock of the Delhi government’s preparedness to prevent bird flu.

He also asked them to maintain strict bird watchings at major birding sites, especially poultry markets, bodies of water, zoos and other potential hot spots.

These include Ghazipur Fish and Poultry Market, Shakti Sthal Lake, Sanjay Lake, Bhalswa Horseshoe Lake, Delhi Zoo, and smaller bodies of water in DDA Parks, among others.

Rahul Kashyap, owner of Bharat Chicken Inn, said his 15-year-old store in Nirman Vihar began to see a noticeable drop in chicken prices after December 31.

“People have completely stopped buying chicken since the start of the new year. There was a drop of at least 90% in sales. Business has been very bad. The only advantage for us is that we don’t have to pay rent. Kashyap said.

Earlier today, Delhi government officials said around 50 birds, mostly crows, had died in the nation’s capital in the past three to four days, officials said on Friday.

“We have received reports of the death of crows in Dwarka and Mayur Vihar Phase 3 and some wild birds in Hastsal in West Delhi.

“However, it remains to be determined whether infection with bird flu is the reason,” said Dr Rakesh Singh of the Development Department’s breeding unit.

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