Kathmandu, June 5
Following detection of bird flu in different parts of the country in recent weeks, consumption of chicken across the country has dropped by as much as 20 per cent, according to poultry entrepreneurs.
The daily consumption of chicken, which used to stand at 500 tonnes at normal times, has come down to 400 tonnes since the last two weeks due to the fear of bird flu, informed Jung Bahadur BC, president of Nepal Chicken Sellers Business Association.
In the third week of May, the H5N1 virus, popularly known as bird flu, was detected in different poultry farms in Chitwan – a major producer and supplier of chicken in the domestic market. Later, the virus was also detected in the Capital – in the poultry farms belonging to Hira Tamang at Dharmasthali in Tarkeshwor Municipality and Shanti Tamang at Lambagar of the same municipality.
As per World Health Organisation (WHO), H5N1 is a type of influenza virus that causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds called avian influenza (or bird flu). While human cases of avian influenza occur occasionally, the infection doesn’t spread readily from birds to persons. However, when a person gets infected, the mortality rate is about 60 per cent.
“Sales have come down in the last few weeks despite falling price of chicken. However, we are expecting that the demand for chicken will rise slowly,” said BC.
Chicken price has dropped by Rs 20 per kg to Rs 260 per kg over the last two weeks.
As per BC, consumption rate has come down drastically in Kathmandu Valley compared to other cities.
Of the 500 tonnes of chicken that is consumed in the country every day at normal times, 300 tonnes used to be consumed in Kathmandu Valley alone.
A version of this article appears in print on June 06, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.