The growing panic surrounding the recent outbreak of bird flu in a few states of the country has dampened the demand for chicken in Hyderabad, leading to a fall in its price.
Even the Nehru Zoological Park has begun to feed the carnivores housed in the zoo minced meat instead of the usual raw chicken.
This, despite the fact that the Telangana government has repeatedly issued assurances that there are no signs of the virus
in the state.
The poultry industry too has stepped in to address people's fears about a possible bird flu epidemic, and has said that till now there has not been a single report of bird flu-related deaths in the organised poultry sector, and that the recorded avian deaths have been of crows, geese and migratory birds.
However, neither assurance seems to have worked to allay the fears of people, evident from the low demand for chicken - it has been so low that the chicken sellers in the state capital were forced to slash the prices of the meat from Rs 200 per kg to about Rs 160 per kg today, in a desperate effort to attract customers.
Despite this fall in the prices, the citizens still seemed reluctant to buy the meat, gripped by the fear of contracting the avian disease.
Meanwhile, the prices of fish have shot up not only in Hyderabad but across several districts in the state, with the price for one kg touching nearly Rs 200 in some areas.
The bird flu scare is likely to have a significant impact on the livelihoods of the many chicken rearers and sellers in the state. Hyderabad alone witnesses the sale of about 6 lakh kgs of chicken daily. This figure goes up to nearly 8 lakh kgs during the festive season.