With cases of bird flu being reported in several states, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Thursday directed officials to carry out largescale sample collection on birds and maintain a strict vigil at potential hotspots — poultry markets, water bodies and zoos — to prevent infections. Delhi has not seen any cases so far.
According to officials, 11 rapid response teams have been formed to collect samples. So far, more than 100 samples have been collected and sent to the designated lab in Jalandhar. The reports are expected by Monday.
Poultry markets, meanwhile, have reported a slight drop in prices. On Thursday, the price of live birds at the Ghazipur murga mandi — the biggest in the capital — fell by Rs 10-Rs 15, with owners fearing a further dip in coming days. A live bird costs Rs 100; the price is now Rs 75 to 90.
Mohammad Salim, general secretary of the Ghazipur murga mandi and owner of Bombay poultry store, said: “Supply has not been affected so far. While there are no cases in the market, news of bird flu elsewhere affects demand.”
Salman, another trader at the market, said, “Sales have been hit by around 20 per cent.”
On Thursday, retail markets too reported a fall in prices by around Rs 20 to Rs 30.
At Laxmi Nagar, Mohammad Sahim said the price of chicken at his shop has fallen to Rs 180 from over Rs 200 three days ago. Aslam, who owns a chicken shop in Jamia, also said the price of chicken has come down to Rs 160 per kg from around Rs 180. He, however, said the rates keep fluctuating.
Salim Illahi, owner of Alsha chicken shop in Ghazipur, said, “It takes some time to hit the retail market… prices will decrease over the next two-three days, when the stock is compiled.” He said authorities have taken samples of birds from the market.
In a meeting with officials of the Animal Husbandry unit of the Development Department Thursday, Sisodia called for intensive monitoring across Delhi, largescale sample collection and regular reports on testing.
Sisodia further directed officials to monitor poultry coming in from neighbouring states.
He also instructed them to keep a close watch on birds at major sites, including Ghazipur fish and poultry market, Shakti Sthal Lake, Sanjay Lake, Bhalswa horseshoe lake, Delhi zoo, and smaller water bodies in DDA parks among others.
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