Birds never had it so foul | india | Hindustan Times
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Birds never had it so foul

It's work as usual at the Ghazipur poultry market. Shopkeepers are tending to their stock and ensuring that the wholesale outlets do brisk business.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 02:21 IST
Kanu Sarda

It's work as usual at the Ghazipur poultry market. Shopkeepers are tending to their stock and ensuring that the wholesale outlets do brisk business.

But after the bird flu scare, no one's taking chances. Poultry reaching the market had to go through rigorous medical screening the minute they were offloaded from trucks.

A team of four veterinary doctors, who have been here ever since the virus hit poultry farms in Maharashtra, put the birds through a thorough physical examination.

"We are examining the birds on a random basis. We have to make sure infected birds don't get in," said a vet.

The doctors haven't found any sick birds yet. "All the trucks had healthy birds. That's surprising, considering that even on normal days, there are a few dead birds along with the healthy ones," said another vet.

While the staff at the Ghazipur market had their protective gear on, poultry farmers didn't seem to bother. "This birds flu is just a rumour. Where's the need for us to wear gloves and masks when there's no infection," asked Haji Baba, a farmer.

Flu or no flu, farmers aren't giving up. On Wednesday, 151 truckloads of birds came to Ghazipur, the highest since the flu alert. "We are relived to see that farmers are not scared and are coming to sell their poultry. But they get about Rs 18-20 per kg, which is much less than the Rs 50-40 they got before the flu scare," said an official of the DelhiAgricultural Marketing Board.