Avian influenza scare
People stay away from fowls

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 26: Moments after the State Government confirmed detection of avian influenza at Imphal around 2 pm on July 25, people frantically and suddenly shrinked away from all domesticated fowls.

While the chicken sellers immediately closed their business small-scale poultry farmers stopped feeding the birds and instead locked up their respective coops.

"I'll neither touch nor feed these fowls as they may carry the dreaded virus.

Now I must wait till the veterinary personnel come and cull them", said Rajen , a poultry bird farmer at Imphal.

Interestingly some farmers who earn their livelihood by rearing domisticated birds offered chicken at Rs 20 per kilogram in a bid to get whatever little amount their fowls could fetch.

Before confirmation of bird flu in the State, the price of dressed chicken was generally Rs 100 in Imphal.

The chicken farmers reacted that Fowls become a danger symbol after Avain Influenza hits Imphal.

The chicken farmers also reacted sharply to the compensation rates of Rs 10 per chick, Rs 30 for broiler and Rs 40 for layers fixed by the State Government.

However, even at the least minimal rate, there was no consumer for their chicken, as nobody even wanted to touch these birds.

"The rate is too meagre to get even 25 percent of the total amount we spent to rear these birds", one of the farmers said on the condition of anonymity.

With the State Veterinary and Animal Husbandry authorities beginning to cull thousands of domesticated fowls in Imphal in an effort to contain spread of avian influenza today afternoon, people who usually relish chicken in the State have been forced to switch their palate mania to alternative dishes like pork, mutton and even fish.