Officials Eat Poultry to Restore Confidence22 May 2013
CHINA - Agricultural officials ate poultry products at an ongoing national animal husbandry expo over the weekend in order to boost public confidence in the poultry industry as bird flu concerns begin to diminish.
Several officials, including Li Xirong, head of the China Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Station, and Wang Zongli, deputy head of the animal husbandry department of the Ministry of Agriculture, ate poultry at the 11th China Animal Husbandry Expo in Wuhan on Sunday (19 May).
Mr Zongli said at the opening of the three-day expo that the spread of the H7N9 bird flu has dealt a hard blow to China's poultry industry that prompted an industry reshuffle.
"The industry has to tackle a number of problems to control the risk of poultry epidemics, as well as improve poultry breeding and build large-scale breeding farms," he said.
According to the China Animal Agriculture Association, the country's poultry industry suffered losses totaling more than 40 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion) since the outbreak of the H7N9 virus in March.
The association also said poultry prices have been picking up since April following the issuance of government subsidies to prop up the sector.
Shanghai along with the provinces of Jiangsu and Shandong, where most H7N9 cases were detected, ended emergency virus control responses last week.
Exhibitors at the expo, the fourth largest animal husbandry fair in the world, have shown optimism regarding the poultry industry's revival.
Chia-Chung Chan from Enron Corp said the future of China's poultry industry will favor those companies that are willing to invest in large-scale production, new technology and environmental measures.
Industry insiders said foreign enterprises can boost innovation and healthy development in the sector.
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ThePoultrySite News Desk