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Live chicken imports remain unchanged before Lunar New Year

     In response to media enquiries, a spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau said today (February 5) that the Government had decided to maintain the present level of daily live chicken imports from the Mainland at 7,000 chickens before the Lunar New Year.

     "We understand the request of the live poultry traders for an increase in the number of imported live chickens before the Lunar New Year.  However, we have reached this decision after taking into consideration the threat of avian influenza to Hong Kong, the overall supply of imported and local live chickens in the market and the overstocking of chickens overnight at the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market," the spokesman said.

     As at today, there are about 268,000 live chickens of appropriate age (65-95 days old) in local farms available for sale in the market.  It is estimated that the supply of live chickens around the Lunar New Year will remain generally stable and can meet public needs.

     The supply of chilled and frozen chickens is sufficient, giving the public more choices.

     The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department will maintain the delivery of normal service during the Lunar New Year holidays, including the collection of blood samples from chickens in local farms and the issue of blood test certificates and poultry transportation authorisations for the sale of chickens. The Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market will also remain open as usual during the Lunar New Year to facilitate transactions among traders.

     A daily average of over 2,000 chickens were still kept overnight at the wholesale market recently.

     "We hope that different sectors of the live poultry trade can work closely together to ensure smooth operation of the live chicken trade throughout the Lunar New Year period.  We also appeal to the trade to co-operate and maintain all preventive measures against avian influenza.  The wholesalers should avoid stocking of live chickens overnight at the wholesale market with a view to persistently controlling the risk of avian influenza," the spokesman said.

Ends/Friday, February 5, 2010
Issued at HKT 16:02


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