The move was triggered after a fall in prices over rumours that the disease is caused by eating chicken.

Watch Thousands of chickens buried alive in Karnataka over coronavirus fears
news Coronavirus Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 10:23

Reports of cases of coronavirus have led to a fall in chicken prices due to unfounded fears that the transmission of the virus is somehow linked to poultry. Reacting to this, a farmer in Gokak in Belagavi district buried truckloads of chickens alive.

Najeer Ahmed Makandar loaded nearly 6000 chickens into a truck before dumping them into a large pit at Nulsoor in Gokak on Monday. He cited massive losses for his decision to kill the birds stating that earlier, his chickens were selling at Rs 50-70 per kg. According to him, the price had dropped as low as Rs 5-10, Times of India reported

Najeer shot a video of his act of burying the chickens in the pit. The video is now being shared widely on social media as rumours that culling stops the spread of the virus. Najeer is the owner of a poultry farm in Gokak.

In another incident, 9500 chicks were buried alive at Bangarpet taluk in Kolar district on a farm owned by Ramachandra Reddy, Deccan Herald reported. In this case too, the owner and the operator of the farm - Satish from Bengaluru - cited losses of up to Rs 20,000 for the decision to bury the chickens.

Ever since the spread of the coronavirus was reported, rumours are circulating that the consumption of chicken could lead to spread of the virus. 

One such viral message circulating in WhatsApp groups in Bengaluru reads: “High alert: Chicken infected from corona virus found in Bangalore today, kindly circulate the message and avoid consumption of chicken. Spread to your dear ones.”

However, health professionals have repeatedly said that the virus is spread via air droplets from infected individuals or carriers (who are infected with the virus but do not show any symptoms of being unwell themselves).