Poultry industry steps in to quell fear about bird flu

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So far, the state governments of Kerala, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh have reported mortality among birds due to the virus.

The poultry industry has stepped in to address fears about a possible threat to the industry from reports of bird flu coming in from various states. So far, there has not been a single report of mortality due to bird flu in the organised poultry sector, and the reports have been about deaths of crows, migratory birds and geese.

So far, the state governments of Kerala, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh have reported mortality among birds due to the virus. While Kerala has reported the presence of the virus in the carcass of ducks, the same was reported from crows and migratory birds in the other two states. The state governments have started serro-surveillance of the avian population in their regions. Although there has been no report of similar cases in poultry birds, the industry has expressed concern about the effect of such news on their sales.

Vasant Kumar Shetty, president of the Maharashtra branch of Poultry Farmer and Breeders Association, pointed out that scare of bird flu has impacted the industry since 2006.

“However, now the consumer is not scared but such news is used by the trade to pull down prices. The same might happen this time also but unlike other times, the industry is better placed in handling the situation,” he said.

Production in the sector is 70 per cent of what the industry reported earlier, so any drastic dip in sales will not have a great impact on the prices, said Shetty.

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