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Poultry Farmers Threaten Strike in Bahrain

16 April 2014

BAHRAIN - Poultry production could cease as part of strike action in response to farmer complaints on chick health and market values being ignored by the government.

The strike started in the first week of March as farmers claimed chicks they were being supplied by the Delmon Poultry Company were often sick, weak, vulnerable and die within days.

They also raised hygiene issues and said the price of chicken had not risen in a decade, reports Gulf Daily News.

Farmers have been on "strike" for more than a month, but have made concessions to continue supplying chicken after government bodies allegedly promised to improve their situation.

Five MPs asked for poultry farmers' problems to be raised in parliament yesterday, but they weren't because two of the MPs didn't attend - meaning the process must take place all over again.

Poultry farmers' spokesman Jameel Salman, owner of Bahrain's biggest poultry farm Al Safa, has now scheduled an emergency meeting with farmers.

"As soon as they found out that the poultry situation was not discussed in parliament I got calls - not from a couple of farmers - from all of them," said Mr Salman.

"They are very upset so an emergency meeting has been scheduled to discuss our next course of action.

"At this stage I don't want to say it outright until it has been discussed, but I think we will have to strike - this time a complete halt (of poultry production).

"We have had promises from ministers, officials and MPs, but there is no action. It's all talk."

Officials met farmers promising that all hygienic issues would be addressed and that farmers would be able to sell chicken for 900fils a kilo instead of the existing 800fils, but until now no official documentation has allegedly been presented to poultry farmers.

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