China could close live poultry markets

29-11-2006 | |
China could close live poultry markets

China is considering phasing out live poultry markets, particularly in urban areas, in order to prevent the spread of bird flu, according to a government document.

The document, released by the State Council, recommends a ban on new live poultry markets and proposes that existing markets be moved out of urban areas in large and medium-sized cities.
Live chicken markets are popular throughout Asia as locals prefer to buy fresh meat, however they are regarded as risky areas for spreading disease including avian influenza.
“Rectifying and regulating the order of live poultry markets and strengthening market supervision are important measures in effectively controlling the occurrence and spread of the bird flu,” the document said.
The document, however, does not carry the weight of a formal law, as it is an ‘opinion’ of the State Council.
China has reportedly culled about 47,000 birds in 10 bird flu outbreaks this year.
The World Health Organisation reports that 21 people have contracted bird flu in China since the end of 2003, with 14 of these cases resulting in death.