Don't Chicken Out From Consuming Poultry Due To Coronavirus

by Rahul Gautam 3 years ago Views 3790

Don't Chicken Out From Consuming Poultry Due To Fa
Despite assurances from the Indian government, the country’s apex food regulator — the Food Safety & Standards Authority (FSSAI) and the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) that poultry items are fit to human consumption, social media rumours linking the spread of coronavirus to poultry items has brought the sector to its knees.

Several fake pictures and videos of diseased chickens and articles on social media fuelling rumours of the virus spreading through eating chicken have already taken a toll on the Indian poultry sector of over Rs 2,000 crores in a month and is likely to cause more damage of up to Rs 10,000 crores.

The worst affected region is the northern part of the country where chicken consumption is more as compared to other regions where seafood is preferred.

At the farm gate level, poultry bird prices have crashed to Rs 10-30 per kg due to a sudden fall in demand while the average cost of production is Rs 80 per kg.

Farmers are now struggling to keep their poultry farm running as cost incurred everyday is becoming unbearable. The situation is so grim that many farmers will soon be left with no option than to cull the poultry.

To debunk rumours, online healthcare platform,1MG, has now concluded that coronavirus is not known to spread directly through poultry products.

The Indian government had on March 6 issued a statement, clarifying that consumption of poultry and poultry products including eggs is absolutely safe since COVID-19 is not transmitted by food.

On March 5, the FSSAI stated that that the predominant route of transmission of COVID-19 appears to be human interaction, not food borne transmission. The FSSAI clarified that raw or cooked meat, including poultry, is safe to eat.

Earlier, the World Animal Health Organisation had also cleared the air, stating that meat from healthy livestock that is cooked thoroughly remains safe for consumption.

On March 2, the All India Poultry Breeders Association (AIPBA) demanded a relief package from the Government worth Rs 1,750 crores during a representation to the Ministry of Animal Husbandry.

"The repeated onslaught of social media with wrong information on consumers has shaken consumer confidence and depleted the demand for chicken products," AIPBA Chairman Bahadur Ali said.

But even after the authorities’ frequent assurances, the Indian consumer appears hesitant to purchase meat or chicken.

Meanwhile, Lucknow authorities have, inexplicably, banned the sale of all kinds of meat in open areas as a precautionary measure.

The Indian poultry sector employs more than a million farmers and contributes Rs 1.2 lakh crore to the country's GDP.

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