KARIMNAGAR: Chicken shop owners and consumers heaved a sigh of relief as all the tests carried out so far to detect bird flu have come negative.
After some chickens died in the state, poultry farm owners and suppliers started taking precautionary measures.
No positive cases
Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department Deputy Director Bandari Narender told The New Indian Express that no positive cases had been detected in Karimnagar until now.Cloacal swabs and blood samples taken from birds at random were sent to the Veterinary Biological and Research Institute in Hyderabad. There are about 20 lakh poultry birds and 3.5 lakh country birds in the district.
Poultry associations will conduct a programme to create awareness that there is no threat to human beings from hens and chicken, even if they are eaten, Narender said.Sanitation and hygiene conditions have been improved at poultry farms as part of precautionary measures.
Demand for mutton spikes
Meanwhile, with people scared that the virus may get transmitted from chicken to human beings, consumption of chicken has almost stopped in Karimangar, with people preferring mutton instead. As a result, for the past two days, mutton price has spiked.
On Wednesday, the cost of mutton was Rs 800 per kg, while a few days ago it was Rs 600. An owner of a chicken centre told The New Indian Express that usually they sell about 30 kg chicken per day, but now, they were selling only 3 kg. Similarly, sales of eggs have also come down due to the virus.
Country hens died of Ranikhet disease
In the recent past, a few country hens had died from the Ranikhet disease virus in Peddapalli district, as the hens were not vaccinated against it. The virus, however, has not been detected in Karimnagar.