Fear "psychosis" hits Italy, poultry consumption plummets

ITALY - The fear "psychosis" caused by avian flu is devastating Italy's poultry sector, with consumption falling by 70 per cent in the country, the Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori reported yesterday.

The steady creep of avian influenza toward the heart of the EU is feeding into consumers' fears about their health and the safety of the bloc's poultry flocks.

Earlier this year, four children died in Turkey, the first ever confirmed deaths of humans due to bird flu outside of Asia. The deaths and the encroachment into the EU's borders makes for a dismal prognosis for poultry processors who face both a narrowing of their supply sources and a fall in consumption demand.

Hungary yesterday became the sixth EU member state to report finding the deadly form of bird flu in wild birds, following confirmation from Germany, Italy, Austria, Greece and Slovenia. Bird flu has also been found outside the EU in Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan.and Turkey.

The Italian farmers' association report yesterday reported that the industry is losing €6m a day, and has lost a total of about €650m so far.

The Italian poultry market annually produces 13bn eggs, 430m chickens, 40m hens, 36m turkeys and 100m other species for a total of 1,200,000 tonnes of meat. The agricultural sector had a turnover of €4.2bn, the association reported.

Source: nutraingredients.com
calendar icon 16 February 2006
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