A poultry farm in Bulandshahr district reportedly buried alive over 6,000 chicks since "maintaining them had become unfeasible" in view of drastic fall in chicken prices over the coronavirus scare, sources said on Thursday.
A huge pit was dug in a field in Mubarakpur village in Unchagaon area, where the chicks were dumped and later buried. Pictures and video clips of the incident have been widely shared.
It comes a day after the Uttar Pradesh government asked all hatcheries to stop adopting crude methods to kill male chicks.
According to the sources, the poultry farm is based out of Punjab but runs a unit in Bulandshahr district.
In retail market, poultry and meat shop owners are struggling to stay in business as sales have plummeted. Chicken price has come down to Rs 20 per kg in some districts.
Mohammad Khalid rued that his trade had been hit by rumours swirling on WhatsApp that chicken and mutton consumption could lead to coronavirus infection.
Poultrers were facing a hard time in even recovering the cost of rearing poultry.
According to an official estimate, 10 crore farmers are directly involved in poultry, animal husbandry and fisheries in the country, contributing more than Rs 1.2 lakh crore to the Gross Domestic Product.
The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy has debunked rumours and said that eating meat, fish, and egg is completely safe.