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Chicken sales come down by 60 pc due to birflu

Posted on Nov 11, 10:29AM | UNI

Chicken sales have come down by 60 per cent in the city following fears of bird flu instance and lakhs of people engaged in the poultry industry are in distress, Karnataka Poultry Traders' Association General Secretary K N Nagaraju said today.

"Chicken stalls sold four lakh kgs of meat daily but the off take had dipped to 1-1.5 lakh kg a day now, hitting about 60 per cent of the normal business," he added.

Addressing a press conference here, he sought to allay fears in the minds of the people, stressing that the avian influenza (H5N1) broke out only at Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) nearby Hesaragatta, leading to deaths of only Turkeys.

"All other chicken produced in Karnataka, like broiler, are unaffected. There is not a single case of a poultry farm labourer or those working in chicken stalls or those who ate chicken having been infected with bird flu," he added.

He quoted experts as saying that chicken cooked above 70 degrees Celsius was safe for eating.

Karnataka has 44 lakh poultry farm families, while two lakh people work in some 25,000 stalls here.

Stating that poultry farmers, traders and workers are in distress, he appealed to the people to start eating chicken again.

The avian influenza at the CPDO claimed lives of 3,600 turkeys last month. This led to culling of over 33,000 birds including chicken, ducks, emu and ostrich in the sprawling farm.