SRINAGAR: Due to coronavirus scare, chicken sales have fallen drastically in Kashmir over past one week hitting poultry farmers, wholesalers and dealers.
Chicken dealers claimed that due to the decrease in sales, rates of chicken have also declined.Chicken is currently selling at 90 to 100 rupees per kg, whereas it used to sell at 110-130 rupees per kg.
The decline in sales has been recorded since the outbreak of novel coronavirus.
Chicken dealers said that there is a perception in the minds of people that novel coronavirus can be transmitted through consumption of chicken, due to which people are restraining to buy chickens frommarket.
“The sales have got down by 70-80% over past few days The chicken sales used to be upto ten thousand rupees per day, now it’s only about 1500 rupees per day due to the fear in the minds of people regarding consumption of chickens,” said Nazir Ahmad, a shopkeeper.
Poultry farmer owner said that they are the worst hit by the decline in sales as compared todealers and sellers incurring lossesto them in thousands of rupees.
“Since the outbreak of coronavirus, my production and income has been hit. I used to sell chickens at 80- 90 rupees per/kg, but now I am selling it at 65 rupees per/kg as the market is down and there is almost no demand for chickens,” Abdul Majid Allai, an owner of Allai poultry farm said.
He added, “I had about 5000 chickens and I sold them off at the rate of 65 rupees per/kg. I am at the loss of about one to two lakh rupees due to the less in demand of chickens.”
A local Bilal Ahmad while expressing concern over buying chickens said that they are being kept in unhygienic conditions with no precautions taken for the prevention of infection.
“Not only this, while one goes to buy them, either some of them are kept ready to be sold off or are being slaughtered with uncovered hands, making them vulnerable to infection,” he said.
However, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has said that the coronavirus is transmitted through human contact and there has been no evidence of the virus communicating from animals to humans or humans to animals.
Amid apprehensions that the infection could spread through consuming chicken, mutton and seafood, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) CEO had said that there is a misconception about it.
“There is a misconception that coronavirus will spread through chicken, mutton and seafood. There is nothing like that,” said CEO FSSAI.
While talking to Dr MT Banday, HOD, Livestock Production and Management SKUAST said, “There is no relation of coronavirus with poultry products. People need not to worry about this. The virus is only transmitted through physical contact with the contaminated person or matter.”
He added that it’s a myth in the minds of people that