Bird flu scare dips poultry sales in Karnataka


Bangalore : Avian flu in West Bengal has begun to tell on chicken sales in Karnataka as well as export of eggs from the state with the poultry industry suffering a loss of Rs.10 million a day, traders said Friday.

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“There is no case of bird flu in Karnataka and there is little chance of it spreading here from West Bengal. However, chicken consumption has been gradually declining since the outbreak of bird flu in West Bengal,” P.S. Nandakumar president of Karnataka Hatcheries Association, told IANS.

Karnataka exports nearly 1.5 million eggs every day. “This has almost come to a standstill now and the price has crashed from Rs.18 to Rs.12 for 10 eggs,” he said.

Chicken consumption in Karnataka is estimated at around 16 million kg per month and it has now come down by 25 percent, Nandakumar said.

Broiler chicken, which was selling at Rs.34 per kg is now available at Rs.20, he said.

“The loss for the industry because of the steep fall in chicken consumption and price of chicken and eggs would be around Rs.10 million a day,” he said.

Nandakumar as well N. Rajagopal, director in the state Animal Husbandry department, said there is no case of bird flu in Karnataka as adequate bio-security measures have been taken.

“Karnataka is very, very safe as it does not get any poultry or eggs from West Bengal,” Nandakumar said.

“We are taking necessary steps to prevent its outbreak in the state.”

“We have stepped up surveillance at the state’s borders. Our teams have been visiting poultry farms and bird sanctuaries that attract migratory birds to conduct tests. So far everything is normal,” he said.