Bird flu hits poultry business in Thane district; prices, consumption down
The bird flu outbreak in Thane district has now hit chicken and egg prices, which have reduced by 40 per cent to 50 per cent, as per the Poultry Farmers Association in Thane.
The per kilogram meat, which earlier cost anywhere between ₹180 and ₹200, is now sold at ₹100 or lower. The egg prices, too, have reduced by 20 per cent as per the association.
Moreover, the outbreak has also hit the hotel industry in the district which was already reeling under 50 per cent losses due to the lockdown. The hotel industry association claimed a 15 per cent slump in business as demand for chicken dishes have reduced.
The association claimed that they were merely able to do 40 per cent of their usual business this time of the year.
Sayyed Sheikh, secretary, Thane Poultry Farmers Association, said, “Last year, the rumours of consuming chicken could cause Coronavirus impacted the sale of chicken in the city. This year has started with bird flu despite alerts that chicken cooked well or eggs boiled well can be had despite the bird flu scare. The chicken prices have come down by 40 per cent to 50 per cent. A kilogram of chicken sold for ₹180- ₹200 earlier is now being sold for ₹100. The poultry sellers are facing a lot of losses overall.”
There are a few who continue to purchase poultry, but they are only a handful and constitute hardly 40 per cent of the daily business, say traders.
Sheikh informed that the prices of eggs too have reduced from ₹6 to ₹4 per egg. “The price of a dozen eggs has reduced from ₹70 to ₹55.”
Meanwhile, the hotel owners across Thane District also noticed a slump in business. Raghunath Rai, secretary, Thane Hotels Association, said, “We are still reeling under the business slowdown caused due to the lockdown. There are hardly 40 per cent people visiting hotels or opt for take away. Since the onset of the bird flu scare, there has been an additional slump in business and the demand for chicken dishes has also reduced.”
Moreover, some hotels that serve non-vegetarian dishes have also seen 30 per cent impact in their business. Umesh Shetty, president, Thane Hotel Owners Association, said, “The demand for all meat dishes has reduced in the wake of the bird flu, but sea food continues to be popular. Many hotels are luring customers by introducing sea food special menus or offers.”
Despite repeated alerts by the government that chicken and eggs can be consumed, there are only a few who consider it safe to have these items.
“It is better to stay off meat and eggs for a few days instead of worrying about the right temperature to cook the chicken or boil eggs. Despite the low prices of chicken, we would like to wait for a few more days until the situation has returned to normal,” said Stella Monteiro, 43, resident of Kolshet, Thane.
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