Poultry prices OK amid slaughter ban: COA

By Zane Kheir, The China Post

The Council of Agriculture (COA) announced yesterday that despite Saturday’s start of a four-day ban on slaughtering poultry, wholesale chicken prices remain stable and have not increased. The COA also called for retailers and chicken distributors to not artificially inflate prices to take advantage of the epidemic that has put the agriculture industry in an emergency situation. The COA stated yesterday that during the slaughtering ban, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) and other related units will be closely monitoring all outlets selling meat as well as slaughterhouses, and they will ensure that all facilities are properly disinfected. The COA hopes that local governments will ensure that all meat markets and slaughterhouses are abiding by the rules during this crucial four-day period in which the COA can carry out a full-scale decontamination of all facilities that poultry pass through.

The COA’s Animal Husbandry Department division head Chiang Wen-chuan (������) stated yesterday that prices for chicken have not changed compared to two days ago, and he cited that the supply of chicken at Taipei’s Huan-nan market is up 70 percent since Friday at an average of NT$59 per 600g. In addition, supply of pork has also increased by 1400 hogs since Friday, as pork demand has increased in response to the bird flu epidemic, according to Chiang. The average price for pork is NT$85.17 per kilogram, and has increased slightly but remains stable, said Chiang. Farmers in Taoyuan to Be

Fully Subsidized: Cheng In Taoyuan City’s Tayuan District (�j����), workers from the Taoyuan Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office (�ʪ��O�@���̳B) and Taoyuan Department of Public Health (���饫�åͧ�) culled approximately 20,000 chickens on a chicken farm infected by the H5 strains of bird flu. Department chief of the Taoyuan’s Animal Protection and Health Inspection office, Chen Jen-hsin (�����H) stated that after receiving reports of sudden deaths among the farm’s livestock, it was confirmed on Saturday that the chicken farm was infected with H5 bird flu and all birds were culled according to the COA’s procedures.

Taoyuan City Mayor, Cheng Wen-tsan (�G����) indicated that the Taoyuan Department of Agriculture must continue to carry out thorough monitoring of the poultry industry, and conduct disinfection around the periphery of infected farms to ensure the safety of citizens. Cheng also stated that Taoyuan farms such as the one in Tayuan District will be fully compensated for the losses they incurred as a result of cullings. Cheng also encouraged any farms that detect any suspicious deaths of poultry livestock should report it immediately to local authorities to have sampling conducted in accordance with COA regulations.

In Changhua County’s Fangyuan Township (�ڭb�m) a poultry farm has had 12.5-percent and 14.58-percent respectively of its livestock of 2,400 birds over a two-day period. Changhua County’s Animal Disease Control center has already processed samples of an additional four farms and culled 16,000 geese and ducks yesterday. Animal Control Center chief, Tung Meng-chih (���s�v) requested that those in the poultry industry strengthen safety measures as the epidemic situation is still not entirely stable.