Poultry sale resumes after brief pause, traders say demand low
oultry trade in the Capital resumed on Friday, with the Delhi government and the three municipal corporations removing all restrictions on trade, storage, processing of poultry products, and import from other states.
On Thursday, the animal husbandry department had confirmed that no cases of avian influenza had been found among samples collected from poultry birds in the Capital.
On Friday, the Ghazipur wholesale poultry market – which is the only authorised one for poultry in Delhi – opened after being temporarily shut since last Sunday as a preventive measure against bird flu after amid reports of dead ducks and crows being found in several locations across the city came in.
So far, the infection has been found in ducks and crows in Delhi, but no other bird.
Traders, however, expressed concerns over declined demand, with a large section of people apparently avoiding consumption of chicken in the light of the avian influenza, cases of which has been confirmed in at least 10 states across the country so far. They also fear that a prolonged decline in demand will bring down the price of both raw and packaged chicken — a trend that Delhi saw in earlier instances of bird flu in 2006 and 2016.
Delhi’s daily demand is around 350,000 live birds a day. Most of the supply arrives from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh – both currently impacted by the outbreak.
“The demand for chicken and eggs will drop. It happens each time there is a bird flu scare. Even though live birds that arrive at the authorised wholesale markers are medically examined on departure and arrival, there is fear among people. The decline often brings down prices. However, we are thankful to the administration that they have removed all restrictions on trade,” said Iqbal Qureshi, a poultry trader and vice-chairperson of the wholesale poultry market in Ghazipur.
Siddhant Wangdi, CEO at Meatigo.com, said: “Though raw chicken sales went down 10% over the past few days, other products such as pork, mutton and ready-to-eat products have substituted the lost chicken sales. All our products are sourced through a network of private farms, where not a single case has been reported in the past 30 days.”
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