Kashmir valley faces acute shortage of meat and chicken

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Srinagar, Feb 6 (UNI) The Kashmir valley is facing an acute shortage of meat and chicken as truck carrying essential commodities are stranded on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, which has been closed due to heavy snowfall for the past three days.

However, fresh vegetables, eggs and local fish were available in the market.

Almost all butcher shops and chicken shops remained closed in the valley, including Srinagar, for a second consecutive day today as the wholesale dealers said they could not import sheep and goats because of the highway's closure.

''There was about a month-long strike in Delhi mandi which ended last week and now the highway closure, it has affected our business very badly,'' a mutton dealer said.

He said whatever stock was imported from other states had already been sold and consumed by the people.

About 5000 sheep and goats and around 30,000 chicken were being consumed by the people in the valley daily and the number increased in the festival and marriage season, officials said.

The bBird flu threat had also partially affected the sale of chicken. However, the state government has categorically said there was no threat of bird flu and all samples taken from different areas, including from migratory birds, tested negative.

Nevertheless, prices of vegetables remained unaffected. Eggs were being sold Rs 24 per dozen, two rupees less than the last week price.

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