As bird flu spreads to seven states across India, the sale of chicken and poultry products have been affected the most. The demand of chicken and chicken products has fallen by over 70 to 80 per cent while prices came down by 50 per cent, according to the President of Poultry Federation of India, Ramesh Khatri. He further added demand for chicken and chicken products is declining due to the restrictions on interstate poultry movement in Punjab, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
Khatri also told the news agency IANS that the two Haryana farms where cases of bird flu or avian influenza have been confirmed are layer farms (where poultry farming is done for eggs) and not broilers (where poultry farming is done for chicken meat).
Mutton prices have soared to as much as Rs 800 per kilogram. A meat shop owner at Kerala's Connemara Market told ANI, "For two weeks after bird flu was reported, there has been brisk sales of mutton. People are not buying chicken out of fear. Chicken sales are usually higher on Sundays but today more than ten lambs were sold. The price of mutton has reached Rs 800 per kg due to high demand.
States like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have reported bird flu outbreak. Central government has asked states to ensure effective communication and to equip people with the correct information vis-a-vis consumption of poultry products.
With agency inputs; by Mehak Agarwal
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