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Poultry sales hit, industry roping in film stars to combat scare

By Staff
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New Delhi, Feb 22 (UNI) The authorities redoubled their efforts today to combat the birdflu even as the scare hit the Indian markets hard leading to a drop in the sale of chickens and eggs across the country.

Meanwhile, reports said the poultry industry is trying to rope in film stars to popularise the consumption of chicken and eggs.

Birdflu has resulted in a drop of chicken and eggs in Jammu and Kashmir even as the government has ruled out incidence of birdflu in the state.

The administration, as a precautionary measure, has imposed a ten-day ban on import of poultry from outside the state and set up control rooms at Jammu and Srinagar to monitor the situation besides responding to queries of farm owners, consumers (general public) and farmers on the disease.

Ali Mohammad, a leading chicken seller in Srinagar, said sales have dipped quite significantly over the past three days and added only five per cent business could be registered in the past three days.

However, he said the ban on the purchase of poultry products from outside the state had very less impact as about 70 per cent of the requirement was fulfilled by local farms.

He said people have stopped eating chicken and eggs after reports poured in that bird flu cases had been detected in Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, in Andaman and Nicobar, the union territory's Health Services Director N Sadasivan has informed that a three-member Rapid Response Team has been constituted to prevent the outbreak of bird flu in the Islands.

A team of one pharmacist and one sanitary inspector/food inspector would be deployed at the Wharf and at the airport to screen any suspect case of avian influenza from entering the UT, he said.

All outlying medical officers in-charge had been sensitised about the disease and the emergency measures to be taken, he added.

An area has been identified in GB Pant Hospital here for setting up of ventilators and semiautomatic analysers, he said.

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