Odisha: Chicken price drops amid bird flu threat

The price of chicken has gone down considerably after reports of outbreak of bird flu in some parts of the State and mysterious deaths of crows in Mahakalapada area of the district.

Published: 17th December 2018 07:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2018 07:28 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KENDRAPARA: The price of chicken has gone down considerably after reports of an outbreak of bird flu in some parts of the State and mysterious deaths of crows in Mahakalapada area of the district.

People are shying away from buying chicken owing to the bird flu scare despite assurances that the product being sold in the market is sourced from poultry farms where the disease has not been reported, said Jiban Sahoo, a chicken stall owner of Kendrapara. The price of chicken in the market has come down to Rs 100 per kg from around Rs 150 prior to the reported bird flu outbreak.

“This is just the beginning. If the bird flu threat continues for a week, the price may fall by more than 50 per cent,” said Manoj Sahoo, chicken seller of Kendrapara. He said stock is piling up owing to reduction in sales. “Even restaurants, dhabas and hotels have cut down on their order for chicken as they have removed it from their menu,” Manoj said.

Meanwhile, Chief District Medical Officer of Kendrapara BP Sahoo assured people that no bird-to-human transmission has been reported following the reported outbreak of bird flu. “H5N1 virus-infected birds spread the virus through their saliva, mucus and faeces. Although the virus does not usually infect people, it can cause fever, diarrhoea and respiratory ailments,” he said. Chief District Veterinary Officer of Kendrapara Santanu Kumar Takairi said people are being instructed to sprinkle lime over bird carcasses and also at places where they are buried.

Hemant Rout, an environmentalist of the district, demanded a scientific study to ascertain the reason behind the spate of crow deaths. Besides bird flu, various other factors like radiation from mobile phone towers,  exposure to cold and other diseases could be responsible for the crow deaths, he said. Rout also stressed on the need to study the behavioural pattern of flying scavengers like where they build their nests, their eating habits and issues like pollution and the depleting green cover.

Bird flu panic in Ganjam 
Berhampur: Panic has gripped Khallikote and Ganjam blocks following reported outbreak of bird flu in Krushnaprasad block. This has affected sale of chicken and eggs. As a precautionary measure, veterinary officials have administered vaccines to over 2,300 chickens in Krushnaprasad block. Ganjam district veterinary officer Dr Rabi Narayana Panda clarified that there is no danger of the spread of the flu. However, all possible precautions have been taken. The Ganjam veterinary department has formed 10 teams to visit 17 villages in Ganjam block and 36 villages in Khallikote block to sensitise the people besides collecting samples and vaccinating chickens. 

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