Bird flu costs Malaysian poultry industry millions

12-05-2006 | |

Since the first outbreaks of bird flu in Malaysia the poultry industry has lost MYR1.5 billion (€324.4m), a report said Friday.

Yap Kim Hwah, who represents the Federation of Livestock Farmers’ Associations of Malaysia, said chicken prices plummeted in March after the deadly H5N1 virus was detected in three Malaysian states.

Before the outbreak farmers received 4 ringgit (€0.86) per kg and then farm price of chickens dropped to 1.80 ringgit (€0.39). Chicken sales also dropped between 20 to 30% from that month, said Yap.

“Chicken farmers incurred huge losses and some did not even have money to buy feed or rear new chicks,” Yap was quoted as saying in the Star daily.

Malaysia reported a series of bird flu outbreaks beginning in February when it appeared in free-range chickens in villages near the capital Kuala Lumpur, triggering the slaughter of thousands of chickens.

But the federation said that since the bird flu problems are one its return chicken prices were now staging a recovery, with farm prices set during the week at 3.50 ringgit (€0.76) per kg as demand picks up.