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Indian bird flu losses not compensated

The Indian State poultry sector is incurring a loss of around Rs 2.21 crore (€ 320,500) per day on an average due to bird flu outbreak, claimed the All Assam Poultry Farmers' Association (AAPFA).

The Association has worked out the monthly loss being incurred by the sector for the disease as Rs 62 crore (€ 8.99m).

The Association has attributed the spread of the disease to the import of big broiler birds from West Bengal and Bangladesh, which witnessed the outbreak of the disease in the recent past. Since the authorities have prohibited sale or purchase of poultry and poultry products following bird flu outbreak, the earning of the poultry farmers has come to a halt.

Loan assistance
To restore the health of sector, the office bearers of the Association also demanded a scheme in line with the one adopted by the Maharashtra Government in 2004 to compensate the loss of the poultry farmers. The Government should repay the bank loans of the farmers and introduce a system of loan assistance for the benefit of the poor poultry farmers, they said.

The hatchery owners are facing a odd situation following the promulgation of prohibitory order on the sale and purchase of poultry and poultry products. They are now compelled to kill the chicks produced on their farms.

The ban on the sale and purchase of poultry feed has also hit hard the poultry farmers of the areas not affected by bird flu so far. For, neither their birds are killed nor they are able to procure the feed for their birds. After a few days, these birds will start dying out of starvation and this will result in another health-related problem, warned the Association office-bearers.
 

Natalie Berkhout

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