China encourages poultry trade despite bird flu scare

CHINA - Despite as many as 30 outbreaks of bird flu this year, China is urging local governments to ensure the survival of the poultry trade.

Chinese officials have culled more than 20 million birds after outbreaks in more than 10 provinces and have banned poultry exports from areas hit by the H5N1 strain deadly to humans until after quarantines are lifted.

But according to reports some local governments have restricted the movement of healthy poultry products.

A cabinet notice is quoted as saying that "relevant places should resolutely eliminate regional protection barriers that affect the normal circulation of qualified poultry and poultry products".

Regardless of the tightly centralised political system present in China , local governments have been gaining more economic autonomy since market-oriented reforms started in the 1980s.

calendar icon 19 December 2005
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