After bird flu scare, poultry units told not to accept unsold stocks

Poultry farms have been told to send samples to a govt lab if they see abnormal deaths

By Raj Kumar in Ranchi
  • Published 23.02.19, 11:42 PM
  • Updated 23.02.19, 11:42 PM
  • 2 mins read
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A deserted poultry shop at Morabadi in Ranchi on Saturday. Picture by Prashant Mitra

The animal husbandry directorate has directed dealers of poultry items not to take unsold birds back to their poultry farms from the city market, following confirmation from a premier Bhopal lab two days ago that some crows died of bird flu at Oxygen Park here earlier this month.

This apart, the directorate has directed poultry farm owners to send samples to The National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, Bhopal, in case abnormal deaths of birds are detected in their farm.

Speaking to this paper, state animal husbandry director Chittaranjan Kumar said the directive was given two days ago after it was confirmed from the Bhopal lab that crows in the state capital had died of bird flu. The H5N1 (avian influenza) virus causes what is commonly known as bird flu.

“Our sole intention is to contain the disease for the safety of people and poultry. As the bird flu cases were detected in Ranchi city, I advised poultry bird dealers not to take back unsold birds (chicken) to their farms as it may cause them heavy loss,” Kumar said.

He also denied unconfirmed reports that the directorate had banned the entry of vehicles carrying poultry to the city. “No ban on the movement of vans carrying poultry birds has been imposed,” he said. “The order to not take back unsold birds to farms is our precautionary measure.”

Most poultry dealers at the main markets of the capital, Morabadi, Karamtoli, Kantatoli, Ratu Road, Kutchery, Boreya, Hinoo and Doranda, seemed aware of the directive. Md Qurban, a Kantatoli chicken dealer, said he bought limited stocks to the city. “We bring limited chicken from Boreya to the city market (Kantatoli) and try to sell all the stock. If demand is low, we even sell chicken at a lower price,” he said. “But so far, we find the demand for chicken is more or less the same. Chicken continues to sell for Rs 120 a kilo, the same as before” he added.

Some customers however said they had stopped consuming chicken after coming to know of the bird flu deaths. Bankim Chandra Seth, a computer operator in an MGNREGS scheme in Bundu, said he stopped eating chicken when he read that bird flu had been detected in Godda about 20 days ago. “That was before this Ranchi case. But I thought, why take risks. I am not eating chicken since,” Seth said.