Assam lifts poultry ban, chicken and eggs selling like hot cakes

January 11th, 2009 - 12:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Jan 11 (IANS) The Assam government Sunday lifted a ban on sale of poultry and poultry products two months after the state was hit by a bird flu epidemic, officials said.The Assam veterinary department in a notification said barring the two western districts of Chirang and Baksa, the ban on sale of poultry and poultry products has been withdrawn, although the order is not without some riders.

“The ban on poultry and poultry products would continue within a radius of 10 km in areas where culling operations took place,” veterinary commissioner Shyam Mewra told IANS. An estimated 500,000 birds were culled in about 150 villages in Assam.

“Culling is going on in some areas in Chirang and Baksa districts,” Mewra said.

“We are yet to officially declare Assam as bird flu free.”

Meanwhile, markets in Assam are already teeming with people buying chicken and eggs.

“Chicken is being sold at Rs.150 per kg but then we are ready to pay,” said Bangsi Das, a customer at the Ganeshguri market. Poultry vendors are doing brisk business since early Sunday.

“The demand for chicken and eggs is naturally increasing as for two months there was a ban,” said Hanif Ali, a poultry seller.

The Poultry Farmers Association of Assam said they incurred a loss of an estimated Rs.180 million since the ban was imposed Nov 17.

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