MANGALURU: Border areas in the state are on high alert following reports of an avian flu outbreak in Kerala. The state government has decided to impose a total ban on the transportation of poultry and poultry products in trains from the neighbouring state. The ban will be enforced with immediate effect and will be extended if necessary.
Truckloads of chicken being transported by road from Kerala to Mangaluru are also being stopped at the border. The city is the largest consumer of chicken from Kerala. Bengaluru, on the other hand, gets its chicken from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and local farms. Officials at the checkpost at Talapady confirmed that truckloads of chicken are not being allowed to enter Karnataka.
Chicken traders in Mangaluru have also stopped buying chicken from Kerala-based suppliers. Sudhakar Shetty, a major market functionary, told Express, “The Animal Husbandry Department in Kerala has said avian flu should be contained in a few districts within their state. We are monitoring the situation closely.”
In the Market
The market, however, has not shown any fluctuations in supply so far and local stocks are sufficient to tide over demands for the next few days.
The demand for chicken may also drop for a few days due to the three-day Subramanya Shashti festival in coastal areas. People celebrating the festival will not consume non-vegetarian meals till Saturday.
Officials in the Animal Husbandry Department in Dakshina Kannada have sensitised the market about the avian flu outbreak in Kerala.
“We do not want to add to the hysteria on avian flu till our local stock is lower that the demand,” said Aston D’Souza, a farm owner.
Dakshina Kannada district is a good market for suppliers from Shivamogga, Hassan and Chikkamagaluru too. “In case supplies drop, we can always buy from those districts. However, that will cost us a little more than for stocks from Kerala,” Shetty said.