Bird Flu: Chicken traders in crisis, to take out march in Alappuzha

Representational image
Representational image: AFP

Alappuzha: The Kerala State Chicken Traders Samithi is set to take out a march to the Alappuzha district collectorate on Thursday demanding government action to solve the crisis that has gripped the sector due to the spread of bird flu. Around 700 chicken stalls in Cherthala and Ambalapuzha taluks have been forced to shut as part of preventive measures to contain the spread of the flu. The livelihood of around 1,500 employees is at stake.
“The entire sector has been paralysed due to steps taken in the name of bird flu. The stalls are being ordered to shut randomly without any notice. This has seriously affected the finances of the people involved in this business. Most of them are struggling to meet their daily expenses,” said K X Joppan, president of Kerala State Chicken Traders Association.

According to him, the ban on the sale of chicken products including fertilizers has adversely affected vegetable farmers and those involved in the sale of cocopeat powder. Urgent steps should be taken to solve this crisis, said Joppan.
“Due to lack of business, most stall owners do not have enough money to renew their licenses. Its date should be extended. Also, compensation should be paid to those who had their stock destroyed as part of the containing measures,” he said.

The chicken traders in the state were already reeling from the heat wave that had gripped the state during the summer. A good proportion of the stock was lost due to the heat. The impact of the bird flu that followed it has lifted the crisis in the sector to unprecedented levels, Joppan said.

“Most of the consideration goes to the farmers. But losses of those involved in related sectors including the traders do not get enough attention. To ensure our grievances reach the proper authorities we have decided to take out the march to the district collectorate on Thursday,’’ he said.

34,000 more birds to be culled
It was decided to cull 34,033 birds on Tuesday in the Chennampallippuram, Vayalar and Thaikkattussery panchayats where bird flu was confirmed. Of them, 33,699 bird will be culled in the Chennampallippuram panchayat. This was decided during the meeting led by District Collector Alex Varghese held at the collectorate on Monday. Fourteen rapid action teams would be deployed for this, it was informed.

A further 12,000 chickens will be culled in the central hatchery in Puliyoor on Tuesday and Wednesday as bird flu has been detected there. District Animal Husbandry Officer Dr Joy Francis has been deputed to prepare a report on farmers who have been affected to ensure timely compensation to them.

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