Little poultry feed left after bird flu scare
Farmers outside the 5km danger
zone of the bird flu-hit Chingmeirong farm, Manipur, India, are facing the
prospect of losing healthy birds to starvation.
This is due to the ban on the movement of poultry feed and the closure of
Following the outbreak of avian influenza, the inflow of poultry products
and poultry feed from Siliguri via Assam and Nagaland has been suspended. This,
in turn, has the farmers operating poultry facilities in the area worrying.
Owners of a big poultry facility, M A Poultry Farm with a rolling chicken
count of 6,000, say they have feed stock for only another week.
"How are we going to feed the chickens if the Government doesn't allow feed
to come into the state? All our feed comes from outside and we need between
200-300 kg of feed everyday. If deprived of food, the chickens will start
devouring each other. It'll be a total loss," says Ambala, a veterinarian who
changed professions a decade ago when the Khuraijams entered the poultry
business. Culling, it seems, would have been more remunerative although the
government is giving only Rs 30 as compensation per full grown broiler chicken.
This prevailing situation outside has prompted around 250 poultry farmers
to come together and form the All Manipur Poultry Farmers and Traders
Association, brought into being on July 30. The Association wants the Government
to understand its plight and are submitting a memorandum to Governor Dr S S
Sidhu urging that culling be completed at the earliest and the region declared
free of bird flu so that the markets can start functioning again.
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