Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], January 10 (ANI): With bird flu reports making headlines across the country, chicken shop owners in Thiruvananthapuram said their business has been hit hard. The price of mutton has climbed up to Rs 800 per kilogram.
Alappuzha and Kottayam districts have reported cases of avian influenza.
According to meat shop owner Sathish Kumar, the demand for mutton has increased a lot in the last few days.
"For two weeks after the bird flu was reported, there has been brisk sales of mutton. People are not buying chicken out of fear. Chicken sales are usually higher on Sundays but today more than ten lambs were sold. The price of mutton has reached Rs 800 per kg due to high demand," said Kumar who runs a meat shop at the Connemara market.
Chicken shop owners said that sales were distressing. They had already suffered severe losses during the COVID-19 lockdown.
"Business has already been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the last 2 weeks, since the bird flu was reported, people have been keeping away from buying chicken. This has affected our business badly," he said.
The Kerala government has already declared bird-flu as a state-specific disaster and issued a high alert after the outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in various parts of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts.
Animal Husbandry Minister K Raju had said on Wednesday that spread of bird flu in the state is due to migratory birds and 37,654 birds have been culled in Alappuzha and 7,229 birds in Kottayam districts so far.
"The government will provide Rs 200 each to owners of birds older than 2 months that either died of the disease or were culled. For those birds less than one-month-old, Rs 100 each will be provided to farmers. Further needs of the farmers will be considered later," he added.
Other states that have reported the avian disease include Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat. (ANI)