EU poultry sales recover as bird flu fears ease

EU - Poultry sales have continued a patchy recovery across Europe as a dwindling number of new bird flu cases have shifted the media spotlight away from the virus, calming consumer fears, officials said.

Sales are still weak in some regions and experts warn that the spring migration of wildfowl from Africa could soon bring fresh cases of deadly H5N1 bird flu to Europe.

The European Commission has urged farmers to cut back production in order to shore up weak sales, but has yet to offer any financial compensation. Analysts have said the sector was losing up to €300 million a month a few weeks ago.

European Union governments are expected to draw up rules on measures to support prices next month.

In France, which has a €6 billion poultry industry, the largest in the EU, sales are now around seven to 10 per cent down on the same period last year.

"We've seen a continuation of the improving trend that's been going on for two weeks," Veronique Legoff, spokesman for the retail distribution association FCD, told Reuters.

Last week the FCD reported average sales down 10-15 per cent.

Source: The Times of Malta
calendar icon 27 March 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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