As the bird flu scare looms large, all three civic bodies in Delhi have issued orders, directing all restaurants and eateries not to serve processed chicken and egg preparations to customers. 10 states, including Delhi-NCR, have confirmed avian flu.
"National capital region and 10 other states have reported bird flu and in light of that, the government of Delhi has ordered the wholesale poultry market. It has also banned the import of poultry and unprocessed poultry meat," a Hindi order issued by South Delhi MCD's veterinary services department stated.
Similar orders have also been issued by two other MCDs -- South and East -- on Wednesday. "All meat shops, meat processing units, other places of keeping, processing, and packaging poultry have been banned with immediate effect," the order states.
Those violating the order will be banned from trading in meat in the future and their trade licence will be cancelled. All hotels and restaurants have also been ordered not to serve eggs, poultry meat, and poultry products.
The ban came shortly after the Delhi Health Department issued an advisory asking people to avoid contact and prevent exposure from 'sick-looking sluggish chicken'. "Avoid contact and prevent exposure from sick-looking sluggish chicken. Avoid direct contact with bird secretions and droppings," the advisory stated. It said bowls used for feeding birds, and their cages should be washed properly with soap or detergent. All slaughter waste must be disposed of properly, the DGHS authorities said.
Due to the fear of bird flu that has been confirmed in multiple states across the country, sales in the poultry industry have seen a dip. Transportation of hens from one state to another has been banned in northern India, resulting in a significant dip in sales of chicken and chicken products.
Poultry Federation of India President, Ramesh Khatri, told news agency IANS that chicken sales had fallen by almost 70 to 80 per cent over the last three to four days. Prices, however, fell by 50 per cent.
Also read: Bird flu outbreak confirmed in 10 states