US demand for chicken still strong in spite of AI
US domestic demand for chicken has remained strong in spite of bad
press for poultry because of avian influenza.
"No one that we've spoken to has reported any impact from avian
influenza," said Richard Lobb, spokesman for the National Chicken Council, a
Washington trade group. "The public is very well aware of bird flu but there's
really been no measurable impact on demand for chicken in the United
Overseas exports, on the other hand, took a major hit over
autumn as populations in Turkey, Romania, Ukraine and other countries with
confirmed cases of bird flu became averse to chicken altogether, added Mr Lobb.
Weak overseas sales have led a number of large US producers to cut production
US chicken restaurant chains, however, say their customers
have faith in the precautions taken by chicken processors, who have implemented
safeguards to prevent the transmission of avian flu by farm employees or migrant
birds. "It's business as usual," said Alicia Thompson, spokeswoman for Popeye's
Chicken and Biscuits. "I think at this point consumers are feeling fairly
confident that there is no threat to the US poultry supply chain."
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