Bird flu fears halve UAE chicken sales

UAE - Bird flu fears have seen chicken consumption plunge nearly 50 percent in the United Arab Emirates forcing several poultry farms to close, an industry official said Thursday.

"Consumption has gone down between 45 and 50 percent," Sheikh Hamed al-Hamed, who heads the UAE's poultry association, told reporters at one of his farms outside Abu Dhabi.

"This decline in consumption has forced us to cut production by 30 percent and many small farms have gone out of business. We have also been freezing surplus meat and selling it at cheap prices."

Sheikh Hamed estimated the sector's losses at about 20 million dirhams (5.5 million dollars) adding that curiously the consumption of eggs had not been affected.

Source: Middle East Online
calendar icon 26 May 2006
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