Hong Kong on Alert for Bird Flu as Demand for Chicken Rises During Lunar New Year Festival

HONG KONG - Hong Kong has increased live chicken imports from China in anticipation of high demand for poultry during the coming Lunar New Year celebrations. But health experts warn of the risk of spreading bird flu during the season. From Hong Kong, VOA's Heda Bayron has this report, written by Juliet Ye.
calendar icon 13 February 2007
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Just as people in the West like to eat turkey or goose on festive occasions, chicken is a traditional dish for Lunar New Year celebrations - the most important Chinese festival. Chicken, especially when served whole, is believed to symbolize happiness and prosperity.

In Hong Kong, people shop for freshly slaughtered chicken at public markets where live chickens are packed densely in crates.

Hong Kong's government raised the number of daily chicken imports from China to up to 80,000 live birds in the week before the Chinese Lunar New Year, up from the normal 20,000. The holiday begins February 18.

Source: VOA
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