HONG KONG - With imports from China stopped on fears of avian flu, sales of chickens reared in the local area are selling well as markets in Hong Kong.
Nearly 4,000 fresh farm chickens went on sale today, 12 January, about 800 more than the previous day's supply, which was eagerly snapped up.
The Standard reports that only Hong Kong chickens are allowed in the markets, as those from the mainland are under a 21-day ban that started on New Year's Eve when the H7N9 bird flu virus was detected in a consignment from a Guangdong farm.
A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the birds will come from 11 farms involving 10 wholesalers. He said inspections will be done at the Ta Kwu Ling checkpoint and chickens will be directly distributed to retailers.
There is no need to offload them and move them to different trucks for delivery to retailers, he added.
Sales yesterday were robust even though prices were up by 10 to 20 per cent to HK$70 to HK$72 per catty, from HK$60 to HK$65. One catty is around 605g.
That means a whole bird costs about HK$190 to HK$250, up from HK170 to HK$230 before the ban.
The supply of live poultry resumed with about 3,200 birds delivered to markets after Ta Kwu Ling residents backed down from their demands that screening be done elsewhere due to noise and health concerns.
Live poultry wholesalers association chairman, Lin Tak-hing, said the arrangement was inefficient but that some of them had to make a living.
Only eight traders were supplied yesterday.
He also said screening at the Ta Kwu Ling checkpoint took a long time.
In a Kowloon City wet market, vendors said they easily sold their chickens.
Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said the inspection went smoothly and only 15 trucks went to Ta Kwu Ling. "Noise pollution is a bit of a concern," he said. "I hope it is still acceptable to residents."ThePoultrySite News Desk
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