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Syndicate Gives Go-ahead to Destroy Imported Chickens

23 July 2013

AUSTRALIA - A national poultry syndicate has decided to allow about 4,000 rare imported chickens to be destroyed.

The syndicate of around 80 people spent about $500,000 importing 45 breeds from the United Kingdom in an attempt to restock Australia's poultry breeds.

ABC News reports that the imported eggs hatched in incubators nine weeks ago and the chickens are being held in quarantine on Torrens Island off Adelaide.

Last week the Federal Agriculture Department issued a destruction order after one chick returned a positive result to salmonella.

The Federal Court granted the syndicate an injunction last week, giving the it time to conduct more tests.

But the Australian Rare Importation Poultry Syndicate says the tests revealed a further three positive salmonella results.

Syndicate member and New South Wales breeder Peter Shand says it is an extremely disappointing end, but the right thing to do.

"The moment we tested the birds and established there were reactors our decision was there's no possibility, as much as anyone wanted them," he said.

"The founding objective was based around biosecurity to limit smuggling through a legitimate importation program, and we couldn't possibly compromise our integrity."

The syndicate had been planning to release the recently-hatched chickens to farmers this month and was considering plans for a second importation.

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