“I would not like my children to eat chicken right now” Said Mayawati Dogra, a house wife in Calcutta. (now known as Kolkata) “I know they say that it is safe to eat chicken, but why take a chance?” said Mayawati.
Although the flu is restricted to West Bengal, crashing wholesale prices and ban on exports, internal and external, are affecting the industry across the country.
Venkateshwara Hatcheries, the largest poultry group in Asia, says its wholesale price across the country dropped from an average of Rs 38 to Rs 26 a kg.
Another reason for falling prices is the ban on movement of eggs and poultry to and from West Bengal, creating a surplus of eggs in the market.
The glut in market is also due to an export ban following the outbreak of bird flu.
Before the outbreak, India was exporting 110 million table eggs and 1.2 million hatching eggs.
The Poultry industry in West Bengal is facing a major crises.
As a solution for the above, the state government of West Bengal is trying to make chicken meat the preferred choice of people in Kolkata.
A ‘mahabhoj’ or a grand feast was organised in Kolkata where, 2000 kilogrammes of chicken were cooked and distributed for free. Ranges of delicacies were on offer, from succulent kebabs to creamy curries and delicious biryani. More than 4000 people attended the costly feast.
“Chicken is very healthy. It has less cholesterol and is very nutritious,” says Exec Member, WB Poultry Forum, Amlan Mahajan.
West Bengal’s Minister for Animal Husbandry, Anisur Rehman, who ordered culling of chicken when bird flu was first reported, is now working with poultry farmers to re-assure people that this meat is safe to consume.
Filed under: Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Anti-viral, Avian Flu, Bird Flu, Bird Flu protection, Bollywood, British, Chickens, Eggs, Flu, H2N3, H5de, H5N1, H7N2, H7N3, H9N2, Health, Human Bird Flu, Human-To-Human H5N1, India, Infection, Influenza, Kolkata, Mutation, Pandemic, pathogen, Poultry, Poultry Factory Farms, UK, USA, vaccine, Virus, West Bengal, WHO |