Buy-out offer raised for chicken sector

CHINA - The government agreed Tuesday to offer higher compensation to those in the poultry industry who are willing to surrender their licenses.

The Executive Council last night endorsed the revised ex-gratia payment packages for poultry farmers, wholesalers and transporters who cease operations permanently.

A Health, Welfare and Food Bureau spokesman said the revised packages were part of the administration's overall plan to reduce the risk of avian influenza outbreaks in Hong Kong.

It was compiled in response to the latest developments in the Southeast Asia region, as well as to World Health Organization warnings.

Bird flu has been affecting Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam since early last year, killing 52 people in the three countries. The WHO has warned that as many as 30 million people could be infected during an expected flu pandemic, a quarter of whom could die.

In March, the government proposed cutting the maximum allowable number of chickens bred locally from 3.7 million to 1.8 million. The current population is about three million.

calendar icon 8 June 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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