Hong Kong restricts live chicken imports to 20,000
The daily quota of imported live chickens will be set
at 20,000 if the temporary ban is lifted, Secretary for Health, Welfare &
Food Dr York Chow.
After meeting poultry industry representatives, Chow said if there is no
other human infection case and no avian influenza outbreak in Guangdong, the
government will resume imports on March 27. However, birds on licensed local
chicken farms will be limited to two million.
He added that he is aware this will impact the trade.
"As such, we have,
since July 2004, made available nearly $600 million in phases to help the
voluntary exit of the trade to switch to other business. This covers farmers,
wholesalers, retailers and transporters."
For the longer term, the government
is seeking a site in the New Territories that is relatively far from residential
areas but in proximity to poultry farms for the development of a poultry
slaughtering plant which is expected to take three years to complete.
The live import ceiling will be reviewed in mid-April.
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