Bird flu fear has brought down the sale of chicken and other poultry items by 50 to 60 per cent, greatly affecting people depending on the industry.
According to a survey conducted by Business Recorder here on Tuesday, it wasa noted that the prices of chicken and other poultry item had slumped by 30-40 per cent as people were reluctant to purchase chicken meat after the report of out-break of bird-flu.
In the past two, three months the rate of poultry items shot up to a record high in both the wholesale and retail markets, which had substantially declined to Rs 150-156 per kg against the Rs 178 and Rs 170 per kg respectively. Similarly, the price of eggs also decreased from Rs 130 to Rs 90 per dozen due to low sale in the open market.
Live chicken was available at Rs 280-290 a week ago and was now selling at Rs 200-220 with sluggish sale at around 20 to 30 per cent. Downward trend in the prices of other poultry products was also witnessed.
Sources in the poultry market revealed that the scare of bird-flu had hit a number of chicken in different poultry farms resulting in a decline in their business. Poultry experts attributed the bird flu to lack of proper vaccination.
"We successfully prevented the avian influenza (H5N1) at zero-rate in the last seasonal period," said Dr Tariq Javed, poultry expert. He further said they had also recommended dealers to continue vaccination, but the virus spread due to discontinuation of vaccination.
A dealer pointed out that experts have said that a chicken cooked above 70 degrees Celsius is safe to eat.
Dr Javed expressed the fear that the virus could further spread in the next month or onwards (March-April) due to negligence of owners of poultry farms.
The recommended quality vaccines, are available in a huge quantity to prevent the virus, including ND-Lasota FD, Gallimune RM, and ND+IBFD, of the three multi-national companies in the market, he informed.Doing a quick check, I found a report in Dawn.com for February 4, which mentions the mysterious death of 8 peacocks in Lahore. But nothing seems to have been confirmed. I'll keep looking.