Gazipur (Delhi), Jan 19 : The bird flu scare has hit poultry sales here.
Traders claimed that the scare of bird flu has resulted in a drop in sales of chicken.
"I buy chicken from here and supply them to the hotels in the city. Due to this bird flu scare, my business is suffering losses. The rates have also come down drastically these days," said Mohammad Arshad, a supplier of chickens.
Though many claimed that the bird flu scare is the obvious reason behind the drop in the sales, few feel that it is the ignorance of people.
Mohammad Irfan Quereshi, a dealer said that it is the economics of demand and supply playing its game. He said that farmers sold out their chicken at lower prices fearing that their chicken will not fetch them a good price if a nation-wide epidemic is declared.
"The main reason for the fall in the prices is the fact that the scared farmers sold their chickens before a bird flu epidemic could be declared. The farmers got scared with the media showing this bird flu all over. I would say that the supply has exceeded the demand and the prices have fallen," he added.
Health workers have been urging villagers at the centre of a bird flu outbreak to stop dumping dead fowl in ponds, as ignorance about the virus hampers efforts to contain its spread.
In West Bengal, where the latest outbreak of bird flu has been reported in poultry, 400,000 chickens were culled in a week.
The World Health Organization has described the outbreak in West Bengal as the most serious yet seen in India.
This is the fourth outbreak in India since 2006. No human infection has been reported so far.
Government officials believe it to be the highly contagious H5N1 strain, although final laboratory results are still pending.