Srinagar: Authorities sounding Avian Influenza alert in Kashmir has led to the decline in sales of poultry products in the Valley and prices of chickens have plummeted in the recent past.
“Not many people are buying chickens and it seems that mutton too has disappeared from the market,” Farooq Ahmed of Baghat Barzulla told Precious Kashmir.
He said, “Since the day flu alert has been sounded people are remaining away from the poultry products.”
It’s in place to mention here that authorities on February 2 had revealed that the first cases of avian influenza were reported from Srinagar district. It had become the fifth district in Kashmir division where cases of bird flu were reported among crows.
An expert said, “No one can deny the fact that the bird flu has arrived. The officials will have to monitor the situation closely to ensure that humans remain safe. We have been fighting COVID-19 for the past one year and we haven’t come out of it yet. People have to remain extra careful.”
A denizen Ishfaq Ahmed said, “The news about Avian Influenza breaking out has led to mutton dealers also taking a break. At present it’s very difficult to find any mutton shop. One can understand that chickens may not be safe but what has happened to mutton where it has disappeared.”
It may be recalled that last year the government had fixed the rate of mutton at Rs 480 per/kg but the mutton dealers refused to sell it at that rate and went on a strike. They were insisting that they should be allowed to sell mutton for Rs 600 per/kg. It appears that the issue of mutton rate hasn’t been resolved yet.
Ahmed said, “Its after many years that people in Kashmir have to remain content with vegetables, pulses and milk products. Chicken sale won’t pick up till the threat of Avian Influenza prevails and mutton issue won’t get resolved till the dealers and the government reach a consensus and find a way out.”
An official said that the Union Ministry of Animal Husbandry has issued an advisory to be implemented by the J&K administration to contain the spread of the Avian Influenza.
He said that the J&K administration has been directed to intensify the surveillance over poultry products to prevent spread of disease.
The official said that the bio security has been strengthened and areas where the mortality of birds has been reported are being sanitized. “Proper mechanism has been put in place to dispose of the dead birds,” he added.