CHINA - The poultry sector in the province of Fujian has been hit hard as the result of scares of H7N9 bird flu, which has cut poultry meat consumption sharply.
The recent H7N9 bird flu cases in Xiamen have seriously affected the poultry business in the city over the past few weeks, say official sources.
According to reports, prices on chickens, ducks, geese, doves, quail and other domestic poultry have plummeted in the city. Many consumers have been reluctant to eat poultry since the H7N9 avian influenza outbreak. Some restaurants have stopped offering poultry dishes – leading to a major decline in both poultry prices and consumption.
A local restaurant owner said: "Despite the lower prices, few poultry traders want to buy poultry in the city's wholesale markets because of the slow sales in the local agricultural markets."
An expert from the Xiamen Disease Prevention and Control Center said that two people have been confirmed as being infected with H7N9 virus in Xiamen last month, which brought the total number of H7N9-infected patients in Xiamen to five for all of last year.
There are still more than 20 markets selling live poultry in Xiamen and in its outlying districts but they all have to undergo disinfection before selling their products.
The sales of live poultry have dropped by nearly half – from 7,000 to about 5,000 – and the latest data showed that only 3,000 live birds were sold on one day recently, 6 January.ThePoultrySite News Desk
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