TIRUPATI: Even as the price of eggs shot up from Rs 5 to Rs 7, the cost of chicken has dropped drastically from Rs 170 to a mere Rs 100, raising doubts on the quality of poultry being sold.
A few of the customers TNIE spoke to raised questions on the genuineness of the white meat being sold. Some from Tirupati and Madanapalli have approached Municipal Health and Food officers asking them to certify the “purity” of chicken, the method adopted to raise and slaughter them.
Speculation is rife that poultry available in markets is not grown according to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines.
As per norms, the chicken can be slaughtered only after 60 days of hatching. It should have attained a weight of at least 1.8 kg with feathers.
According to the sources, rearers are now taking poultry to the market within 24 days, raising doubts on the methods used to raise the birds. A whistleblower TNIE spoke to hinted at the indiscriminate use of chemicals and antibiotics injections to make broiler chicken grow fatter faster.
Complaints regarding this have already reached Tirupati and Madnapalli municipality authorities, said the source who did not wish to be named.
Farmers now are resorting to dangerous means that help chicken reach full size in 24 days at just 30 per cent of the initial cost they were bearing.
“The farmers are happy and buyers who don’t know what is happening are happy too. The price at which a kg of chicken is sold here is now a maximum of Rs 110,” he said.
District officials confirmed that the price of chicken has fallen abnormally even as the price of eggs has risen, but no steps have been taken yet to crack down on poultry rearers subscribing to unfair means to make a quick buck.