Poultry industry hit by bird flu fears, chicken prices drop by 50%


New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS): After the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the country's poultry industry, it is now reeling under the fresh threat of the bird flu infection. Due to the fear of bird flu, the sale of chicken and chicken products have been the worst-hit.

Especially in north India, the poultry industry has been badly affected by ban on the transportation of hens from one state to another. A delegation from the industry is scheduled to meet the central government on Sunday.

The cases of bird flu in poultry chickens have so far been found only in Haryana while most of them have been found in wild birds or migratory birds elsewhere and some cases have also been found in poultry ducks.

However, in the beginning of 2021, the fear of bird flu has increased so much that the demand for chickens and chicken products has decreased by more than 70 per cent, the poultry traders said. Poultry Federation of India President, Ramesh Khatri, told IANS that chicken sales had fallen by almost 70 to 80 per cent over the last three to four days, while prices had fallen by 50 per cent and egg prices had also come down by nearly 15 to 20 per cent.

Khatri said the primary reason for the falling demand for chicken is that the movement of poultry from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir has been halted from one state to another.

He said that the two farms in which the bird flu has been confirmed in Haryana are both layer farms and not broiler ones. In the layer farms, poultry farming is done for eggs, while in the broiler farms, poultry farming is done for chicken meat.

He said he would demand from the central government to save the poultry industry from rumour-mongering of bird flu.

A delegation from the poultry industry on Sunday would meet Union Minister Jitendra Singh in which Ramesh Khatri would also be present.

Poultry farm operator, Rakesh Manhas, also said he would urge the Central government that the rumours spread about bird flu causes humongous loss to the industry so measures should be taken to prevent such a situation.

The Union Animal Husbandry Ministry also said in the seven states where there were confirmed cases of bird flu on Saturday, only the reports of bird flu in poultry-chickens in Haryana has been confirmed.

In India since 2006, almost every year in winters, Avian Influenza, a common cold disease found in birds has been found somewhere or the other and the way to deal with the outbreak of this disease was made by the government in 2005, which has been implemented in the infection-affected areas.

Experts point out that the methods of eating chicken and eggs in India do not raise the question of transmitting bird flu in humans, although they say that the effort should be on not to eat infected birds.

Animal Husbandry Commissioner, Government of India, Praveen Malik, told IANS that there is no direct evidence of Avian Influenza (AI) virus being transmitted to humans by eating contaminated poultry products. He said that there is a need to maintain cleanliness and hygiene and the cooking and processing standards are also effective to prevent the spread of AI virus.

Agricultural economist and Poultry Federation of India advisor, Vijay Sardana, said the country's poultry industry is worth nearly Rs 1.25 lakh crore, which has drastically come down to half during the corona pandemic crisis. This means the business of the poultry industry which was nearly Rs 1.25 lakh crore before the disaster of coronavirus has reduced to nearly Rs 60,000 to 70,000 crore at present.

The recovery of the poultry industry came in the last few days of 2020, which was earlier ravaged by coronavirus, but is now reeling under the threat of bird flu.

Bird flu virus is heat-labile, gets killed at 'cooking temperature' 

Contrary to what some people think that the bird flu virus, also known as Avian influenza, is spread to humans via consumption of cooked poultry products, health experts on Sunday stressed that it usually does not infect people as the virus is heat-labile (degraded and killed when subjected to heat).

Avian influenza refers to the disease caused by infection with avian (bird) influenza (flu) Type A viruses. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds worldwide and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species.

According to the World Health organisation (WHO), cooking of poultry (e.g. chicken, ducks and geese) at or above 70 degree Celsius so that absolutely no meat remains raw and red, is a safe measure to kill the virus in areas with outbreaks in poultry.

Richa Sareen, consultant (pulmonology) at Fortis Vasant Kunj in New Delhi, said the virus is heat-labile and it gets killed with cooking temperatures.

"At this time, people should eat fully cooked chicken and eggs and not raw or partially cooked ones. One should avoid going to open markets that sell poultry as they are the focal point of the spread," Sareen told IANS.

"People who handle poultry should take special precautions. They should wear PPE, gloves and masks while handling birds and should practice frequent hand washing," she added.

Although the virus causing bird flu usually does not infect people, rare cases of human infection with these viruses have been reported, especially in individuals working with infected domestic birds.

"The possible cause of infections in humans is when they come in contact with birds with the viruses and enough viruses get into a person's eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled through the excretions of birds," said Kunal Kothari, Senior Physician, Internal Medicine, SMS Medical College in Jaipur.

"The spread of Bird Flu from one individual, who is sick to another has been very rare and data is limited, inefficient and not sustained but as a precaution, we should all be watchful of public health advisory," Kothari added.

Bird Flu is a communicable virus among the avian population and human to human spread is not too prominent with the current strain.

However, viruses are prone to mutation, so if this virus undergoes mutation in future, it has the potential to spread from human to human and cause a pandemic.

Bird flu mostly infects the respiratory system of humans. Common symptoms are fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, muscle aches, etc.

"If severe, it can cause ARDS, multi-organ involvement and even death. The sporadic data on bird flu from the past shows very high mortality, to the tune of 60 per cent. Thus, it becomes important to take precautions now," Sareen mentioned.

Nevertheless, maintaining distance from birds in the environment is important as the spread of the avian virus is through the saliva, faecal matter of an infected bird.

"The avian virus is airborne. Notify the community health department on seeing sick or dead birds and try not to come in direct contact with these birds without proper masks, gloves and disinfectants," Kothari noted.

The Central government has issued a status report of avian influenza in the country, saying the disease has been confirmed in seven states.

The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DAHD) has issued an advisory to the affected states so as to avoid further spread of disease.

 

 

 

  

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Comment on this article

  • Flavian, Manngalore/Kuwait

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Minorities are snatched of their choice of food and now new lesson for them not be able to eat chicken now and may be mutton as passing of time. Never challenge Gods power and implement rules as per your own wishes against humanities needs. Time is not far away.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • DSR, MANGALORE

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    It is highly advisable to avoid eating chicken for some time even if prices drop by 75% .

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Manngalore/Kuwait

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    My school days I used spend summer vacation at my cousins place in Omzoor. The lovely days of my childhood fishing Denkle and Madonji and sitting hours to gather to hit a fortune by catching turtle but never got any. Evening playing cricket or volly ball in dry field and night fresh fish curry. Morning time few glasses of sweet toddy (non fermented.
    Fish we enjoy in Kuwait round the year. Small or medium sized fish is cheap and available abundantly.
    Cynthia, I will invite you one day for fish festival 🙍‍♀️

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Cynthia, Kirem

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Oh oh ... Flavian....fish festival? From morning breakfast to dinner fish only? Catching in omzoor rivulet?

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    A stage might come when chicken will not even go for free; it's already happening Mysore, Chikbellapur etc as exports have been completely stopped to neighboring Kerala & the birds are dumped in the jungles!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • DSR, MANGALORE

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Chicken prices have not dropped in Mangalore, infact hey have shot up from 75 to 80 per kg to more than 200 per kg since last 7 months!!!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Poultry owners minted money by reclesslly raising the rates to 200/kg.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • saquib, byndoor

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Hope everything will b fine

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    What about Beef ...

    DisAgree [10] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prabhu, Karkala

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    What about soro

    DisAgree [1] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mangalurian, Mangaluru

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    I don't think many will go for poultry even if the price drops by 80%...

    ...almost everyone I come across has become a vegetarian.

    People tell me vegetables have no viruses.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Monty Dotor, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Vegetarian dishes are mouth watering, safe, cheap and good for environment. Animals and birds have brains and can feel pain ( when being killed) and sorrow (when a near or dear one is killed). If a person actually sees an animal or bird being killed ,one will most likely give up non- veg food.If a person has a pet (e.g. a puppy) would you like it being killed? (and eaten....). Practice Ahimsa .

    DisAgree [5] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Cynthia, Kirem

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Yesterday i saw a snake hidden inside the cauliflower....Fresh hard, not fully ripesd tomatoes had worms....and so on

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mangalurian, Mangaluru

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    Maybe snakes and worms are looking for virus-free food?

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Monty Dotor, Mangalore

    Mon, Jan 11 2021

    Snakes and worms are non-veg. be a vegetarian and eat the cauliflower and tomatoes only.........(no Wuhan)....

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    If all the cattle remains intact (slaughter ban) and go on multiplying, India's greenery and fodder may run short one day.
    let the majorities keep away Pork so that price of pork will not shoot up.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Venur Vinodh, Vidyagiri , Venur vinodvenur65@gmail.com

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Poor birds. Humans hearded them in packed places and causing them health issues . Mahavir Jain and Gautam Buddha asked us not to eat flesh. When will we learn?
    Therefore be vegetarian. Good for health and environment.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • H. Almeida., Bendur/Andheri

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    The Spell cast by the Evil eye is following India into 2021... Covid19 pandemic ruined us and now this " Bird Flu " appears to haunt us with another unwavering disaster !!!

    DisAgree [7] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Deshbhakt, Mangalore

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Lucky charm BJP govt Mr. Almeida....

    For the economy downfall and Covid was blamed. Now we don't know what will slide with present bird flu and impending foot-and-mouth disease.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Amaze, Karkala

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Evil eye since 2014

    DisAgree [5] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • H. Almeida., Bendur/Andheri

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Amazing !!! That there are Aliens, from the moon, residing in India, are so dumb, that they do no realise that Covid19 is a Universal pandemic, every nation has been hit by recession... Tragically these blinded, haters n baiters, with destructive mindsets, rant, abuse, hurl ugly expletives against our PM for every misfortune, tragedy occurring in our nation !!!!

    DisAgree [7] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • SAN SHETTY, Mangaluru

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    didnt they sky rocket the price some time back for no reason....?

    DisAgree [1] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Chicken price falls by 50% and vegetables may become costlier by 100%. Mutton will enjoy breaking the barrier of Rs. 1000 plus. per KG.
    Time to fish out at sea shore or any ponds for Thede & Modonji

    DisAgree [3] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pravin, Udupi

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    What about pork.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Cynthia, Kirem

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Flavian, sea fish too very costly..huuuu rates are spicy like chilli. Madonji if anyone gets by their own efforts is fine. Madonji fish also they sell at higher rate. Ganji chutney is best for the time being... Good for health and can save the wealth... Kale muntay?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rudolf Rodrigues, Mumbai

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    In fish too the formalin controversy is still going on?

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Cynthia, Kirem

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Yes ...Rudy sir....one has to be very careful in choosing the fish. The fish that we buy looks very fresh. It should be cooked within an hour otherwise fish's colour, taste changes and when you slice them fish slices wont be stiff and firm...This has been said by the seller only when inquired why fish was tasteless ?..But, whoever gets fish from rivers, creek, ponds and thodus are Lucky. It will be without formalin...

    DisAgree Agree [4] Report Abuse

  • Joyce, Mangaluru

    Sun, Jan 10 2021

    Good news for Kori lovers.... Kabab, Tandoori, Chinese, Biryani and many more dishes in the making ... Enjoy.....

    DisAgree [6] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse


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