Angul: Bird flu scare has severely hit poultry business as sales dropped by 70 per cent in this industrial town.
The trend followed the death of a number of crows in Angul. In its bid to allay fears, the state government has ruled out claims about bird flu.
This has become worrisome for poultry traders who were expecting their sales to go up in this picnic and marriage season.
According to sources, there are over 70-80 poultry retail outlets in the town where prices of poultry meat remains higher from the month of December to February.
The price of poultry meat was Rs 170 per kg in January last year but it has come down to Rs 110-120 this year.
The town has five big poultry farms where hens are raised and supplied to retailers for sale. However, the fear of the disease has severely hit farm owners.
A trader Kuna Pradhan said, he used to sell 70-80 quintal of poultry meat per day but now manages to sell only 20 quintal per day after the bird flu scare gripped the residents.
He used to get lot of orders in the picnic and marriage season of December and January but this year the scenario has changed.
In past, about 130-140 customers use to visit his shop every day but now the number is restricted to only 40 customers a day, Pradhan said.
Another trader Bibhu Samal said, he used to sell eight quintals of meat per day but now he has to manage with only three quintals.
The bird flu scare has reduced the prices of poultry meat from Rs 150 to Rs 110, another trader Samir Gadnaik.
The slump in the trade has resulted in an increase in sale of goat meat and fish in the town.
Vendors selling goat meat are cashing in on the situation. While goat meat used to sell at Rs 400 in November last year, now the price has gone up to Rs 430-450 per kg after the drop in sale of poultry meat.
Chief district veterinary officer Pradipta Singh tried to allay fears over the disease claiming it was yet to be identified in the town.
He said all the germs get destroyed when poultry meat is cooked at 70 degree Celsius temperature. “People can consume poultry meat without any fear as we cook it at 140 degree Celsius temperature,” Singh said. PNN