Amid rising global coronavirus deaths and the diseases' rapid spread in India, a variety of rumors have been doing the rounds in the country. And of the most rampant rumors is that the virus spreads by eating meat. Following such rumours in Karanataka which led to a drop in the demand chicken and meat in various areas, a poultry farmer by the name of Najeer Ahmed Makandar in Belgavi loaded about 6,000 chickens on a truck, dropped them in a ditch and buried them alive.
Makandar, who lives in Gokak taluka in Nulsoor, said that due to a decline in demand, the chickens were causing him deep losses. The farmer told Times of India that earlier, his chicken used to sell for Rs 50-70 but ever since the coronavirus scare, prices have fallen to as low as Rs 5-10 per kilo. He also said that raising his coop of chicken had cost him about Rs 6 lakh, including their food and medicine. A live chicken weight over 2 kg would only fetch him Rs 25.
Makandar said that it was impossible for him to maintain the chicken at such prices. He even shot a video of burying the chicken in the pit and shared it on social media to reveal the plight of poultry farmers to the world.
The video has since been going viral.
A dejected farmer Nazeer Makandar from Lolasoora village in #Gokak, #Belagavi decided to bury #chicken from his #poultry farm, following steep fall in price due to #CoronavirusOutbreak. @DeccanHerald @CMofKarnataka @mani1972ias #Coronavid19— Niranjan Kaggere (@nkaggere) March 10, 2020
Nazeer Makandar pic.twitter.com/OExEPM39ay
Many expressed outrage against the video and the heartless killing of the birds.
Following the scare, India's poultry industry has taken a big hit and prices of chicken as well as mutton have slipped to a dismal low with even foodies substituting meat with other vegetarian or artificial substitutes such as katahal.
India is not the only country where chickens are being killed due to COVID-19, which has killed over 4,000 victims worldwide in a matter of months. In China, the epicentre of the virus, mass culling of chickens was reported earlier in the year, forcing China to consider importing chicken from the United States to fulfill the protein deficiency.