Bird flu has no major dent in sales of chicken, eggs

Bird flu has no major dent in sales of chicken, eggs

The current outbreak of H5N1 - or bird flu infection - does not have a significant dent in the sales of fowls and eggs, the Karnataka Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association (KPFBA) has said.

KPFBA general secretary Manjesh Kumar Jadhav said the current bird flu outbreak has only hit sales below 20%. "People have more awareness about the condition, so there's no panic," he said.

In Yelahanka, where the outbreak first erupted, the sale of chicken has been completely stopped. Traders have also stopped procuring chicken from Tamil Nadu.

"The disease has been found in country (Nati) chicken - which is 0.5% of the total supplies - and not in broilers. A lot of these came in from Tamil Nadu," Jadhav said.

The association records reveal that Bengalureans consume around 4.5 lakh kilos each day, while the annual per capita consumption is about 35 kilograms. The city also consumes 40 to 50 lakh eggs per day. Yelahanka accounts for about 10% of these total sales.

Civic authorities have issued strict instructions to 2,000 shops to maintain hygiene. Chicken farmers have also been advised to keep their farms clean.

Jadhav said about 1,000 chicken farmers in Bengaluru, who breed different varieties of fowls, have put a system in place to keep infections at bay.

But those breeding only country chicken in Tamil Nadu and close by areas do not have organised breeding centres and compromise a great deal on hygiene. "This is a big worry," Jadhav said.

"We tell people that the virus dies down completely if they boil the meat between 70 and 200 degrees Celsius or if it is deep fried. But people already know this."

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