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Chicken back in business in Assam
Dimapur, Jan 15 (NPN):
Published on 16 Jan. 2009 1:09 AM IST
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With Bihu festivity on in Assam, markets are witnessing brisk sale of chicken even as two separate organs of the Assam government are still in conflict over the allowance of sale of poultry products,reports UNI. Lakhs of chickens have been culled following reports of outbreak of Avian flu that gripped three districts of Assam. State veterinary department has allowed sale of chicken in the state while the state veterinary department authorities were infuriated by the decision as they had issued official statement saying that no sale was allowed. Meanwhile, confusion prevailed among the masses as the chicken traders were seen in hectic activity, trying to make up for the losses since the chicken sale was banned on November 17. Commissioner of Assam government’s Animal Husbandry department Shyam Mewra had issued an official notification on January 11, signaling the end of the trauma for the poultry farmers. However, Kamrup (Metro) ADC C K Bhuyan informed that neither they had received the order nor were they withdrawing the ban. But the withdrawal order of the Veterinary department could be seen pasted outside every chicken shop in Guwahati. According to the poultry farmers association, a staggering Rs 18 crore had been lost since sale of chicken was banned on November 17. Notably, according to a statement issued by the state veterinary department, over five lakh chickens have been culled and a total compensation of Rs 1.67 crore was paid. But what stunned the buyers at Guwahati city was that all the chicken available in the market was full grown and mature, casting a shadow over the genuineness of the culling operation in and around Guwahati where bird flu was detected. However, there were no reports of any fresh outbreak of bird flu from any part of the state in the past one week. Nearly 5.64 lakh birds, including commercial and backyard poultry, were culled till yesterday, an official communiqué said.

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