Bird Flu Scare Haunts AP

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  July 27, 2007 at 2:55 PM Bird Flu News
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Bird Flu Scare Haunts AP
The fall out of the recent bird flu case in Manipur seems to have its reactions in Andhra Pradesh(AP) in terms of an economic loss for the state. The poultry association is panic struck for they fear a loss of Rs 200 crores a month if egg exports are stopped.

One crore table eggs from the state are exported every month to Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. But due to the bird flu scare last year these countries had banned the eggs from India . The total loss that year was put around Rs 1000 crores.

Table egg or chicken egg is particularly rich in nitrogenous elements. It is one of the most highly concentrated forms of nitrogenous food, about one third of its weight being solid nutriment. It is also confirmed to have a low-calorie source of protein, Vitamin A, riboflavin, Vitamin B-12, iron, zinc, phosporus, calcium, potassium and other nutrients.

The average weight of an egg is about two ounces, of which 10% consists of shell, 60% of white, and 30% of yolk.

Table egg is commonly consumed as viand. It is also used as ingredient for desserts like pastries, cookies, pies, cakes and others. It is sometimes processed into "itlog na maalat" or salted egg. It is also effective in some beauty regimen.

The association has convened a meeting to overcome the problem that could possibly arise from the situation.

"The country should be divided into zones so that if bird flu is reported at a particular place only that zone should be declared as affected so that business does not get affected in the other zones," said A Gopal Reddy, member of the National Poultry Development Council.

He said this should be advocated by the Government of India so that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will declare the zones in India.

Even though there was no case of bird flu last time in the state but still a large number of birds were culled. The price of the chicken came down drastically as consumers refused to consume chicken.

"We are not affected now and there is no scare in the state," said K Narayan Reddy of the A P Poultry Federation. But even as he and his colleagues are putting up a brave front, the price of chicken is to be brought down by at least Rs 4 per kg in the next few days.

According to poultry industry sources, even if the bird flu scare does not cause any damage to internal consumption, the export of eggs will be affected. "If there is an accumulation of export eggs, poultry producers have no option but to slash prices drastically," Gopal Reddy said

Director of animal husbandry L Mohan has said that there was no possibility of bird flu spreading to Andhra Pradesh. "The poultry industry in the state produces one third of the country's poultry products. Since we do not import, there is no chance of bird flu spreading to this place from anywhere else in the country," he said.

Source: Medindia

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