In the wake of avian influenza, a disease that infects birds, animals and possibly humans too, the poultry business has suffered a major setback. While the economy is slowly trying to get back on its feet, the recent ban on the processed and packaged chicken has brought the poultry industry to a halt.

The ban on chicken import is almost reminiscent of the lockdown scenario when transportation halt consequently brought the imports to a standstill. However, the current industry ban comes after eight birds tested positive in the state for bird flu.

The chicken mandis and markets suffer the most amidst this Delhi Govt order. Firozalam Firoz, a seller at the Ghazipur Murga Mandi (Ghazipur chicken and egg market), expressed his concern over the situation and asserted that in his 12 years of business he has not witnessed any threat from bird flu.

“We are sincerely following the government guidelines but the government should also understand that the murga mandis are hygienic spaces where the sheds are kept clean and are duly monitored with the help of veterinary doctors available within the mandi. No chicken goes out to the market without an official certificate from the doctor.”

He further said that the illegal consumption of chickens is not being monitored. Firoz added that they are awaiting a response to the letter they have written to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The mandis are also waiting for the lab results of the samples of ducks and crows.

The current situation has also impacted the business of eggs. “Our business is spread across UP, Bihar, Bengal and Delhi. The ban has decreased our wholesale business of eggs by 30-35% and I fear it might go up to 60%,” says Krishan Mittal, owner of MS Farms Pvt Ltd.