Prices of Chickens and Eggs Crash as Bird-Flu arrives in India.

The outbreak of the H5N1 virus in the extreme North East of India, at the India-Myanmar border, seems to have had an immediate effect on the psyche of the entire country.

 Even though the capital Delhi is over a thousand Kilometres away from the infected area, a day after the government confirmed the outbreak of bird flu, chicken prices fell by over 20 per cent in Delhi’s wholesale market while eggs became cheaper by Rs 8 per 100 numbers at Barwala in Haryana.“The prices fell to Rs 145 per 100 eggs today from Rs 153 yesterday at Barwala,” a poultry farmer said, adding this would influence prices in Delhi as well.Asked about the impact on chicken prices, he said: “The farm gate prices in Delhi declined to Rs 36 from Rs 46 per kg within a day of the announcement of bird flu.”

The poultry industry did not expect the outbreak of bird flu to hit domestic prices of chicken and egg in most of the major consuming centres in the north and other areas as the incident reported from a remote part of the country.

“We are all preying with all of our might that we do not have a human case of Bird-Flu as that would be absolutely devastating to the Poultry Industry in India”, said an official from the Agriculture Ministry, asking not to be named. India has had no human cases of bird flu as yet.

Control and containment measures were initiated after confirmation of Avian Influenza by the Government of India.

A high level meeting of concerned Departments, agencies and local representatives was chaired by the Chief Minister of Manipur, SHRI OKRAM IBOBI SINGH
on 25th July, 2007 in order to determine the strategy for control and containment.

All chickens and other domesticated birds within five kilometres of the Chingmeirong area (where the virus was detected) would be killed to prevent the spread of avian influenza, officials said.The state government, which described the situation as “very serious”, said it would compensate poultry owners. It was estimated that about Rs 60 lakh would be spent for this, the officials said.About 5,000 chicks and adult chickens at the government -run poultry farm in Mantripurkhri on Imphal’s outskirts would come under the knife along with 1.6 lakh birds being reared in private poultry farms.The culling operation would cover 128 small poultry units. Twenty rapid response teams will initially focus on eight villages surrounding the area of infection, said a statement issued by the Union agriculture ministry in Delhi.

Meanwhile, a report from Churachandpur district said that over 200 fowls in a private farm had died some days ago.

Veterinary experts have rushed over to the area, to collect blood samples.

Here is a news item from the Press Trust of India:


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