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Butchers feel swine flu heat, stop selling pork

SHILLONG, Aug 21 – Butchers in Meghalaya have stopped sellingpork since yesterday as people were shying away from it with the spread of swine flu.
The butchers decided to stop selling pork from Thursday, unable to bear the loss triggered by the market situation, president of thePork Butchers’ Association Donlang Kharumnuid said.
A series of clarifications issued by the Health authorities that eating well-cooked pork was safe had few takers, he said.
Each shop would normally sell upto four whole pigs or more on a good day. Though some shops had a turn-over of about Rs 35,000 every day, most have closed down, Kharumnuid said.
Nearly 90 per cent of the pork consumed in the State was imported from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
While the exact pig consumption in the State was not available, Veterinary officials said consumption of pork in the State in 2007-08 was 10,074 tonne.
The Meghalaya Government had earlier issued directives to pig breeders on strict hygienic measures in farms and well-balanced feeds, besides restriction on visitors.
The breeders were also directed to undertake de-worming exercises, besides controlling pets, rats, flies and disinfecting the surroundings. – PTI

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