Bird flu fear bring down chicken price in HP

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Shimla, Jan 18 (UNI) Fears of passing on of bird flu strain from West Bengal to other regions of the country have hit local chicken market.

The prices of poultry products have witnessed an unprecedented slash in Shimla, following the confirmation of bird flu by the Union government in Birbhum and South Dinajpur districts of West Bengal.

Although there has been no case of bird flu reported in Himachal Pradesh, but apprehensive of the disease the chicken lovers here seems hesitant to taste the delicious feast.

Following the spread of bird flu in West Bengal districts, the broiler chicken, chicken and egg prices have slashed down by 10-15 per cent in local markets of Shimla.

Consumption of chicken and egg has gone down drastically, resulting in rolling of prices. The unpleasant part for the traders here remains that the bird flu has hit during winter season, a time of year when poultry industry witnesses the largest demand for poultry products.

The capital town that on average has a daily consumption of 3,000 kilogram chicken, but since the reports of bird flu, the consumption of chicken has fallen to 1,000 kilogram per day, reveal local poultry merchants.

Dealers engaged in chicks business revealed that during the past few days, the market is continuously witnessing a slum. The chicken and egg sale has gone down by almost 75 percent than our usual business,said a local trader in meat market of town.

The price of broiler (without skin) that was being sold at Rs 90 per kg a few days back is now been sold at Rs 75 per kg. Chicken that was Rs 40 per kg is now put on sale at a reduced price of Rs 30 per kg these days.

On other hand the sale of eggs has also registered a downward trend because of low consumption. The crate of 100 egg pieces that had a price tag of Rs 190 till four days ago is now priced at Rs 140.

Local traders here believe that to restrict the impact of bird flu, compartmentalisation of poultry farming areas should be seriously adhered. According to them, zoning would ensure unhindered poultry business in the rest of the country. This will also avert any damaging impact on exports in case of such outbreaks.

Meanwhile to counter any eventuality in this regard the animal husbandry department of the state had constituted rapid response teams in every district of the State and the teams have been provided with all the required equipments to counter the threat of bird flu.

UNI XC AS PS MMS1952

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