Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Bird flu 'devastates' poultry business

09 April 2013, 13:04

Shanghai - China's deadly bird flu outbreak has dealt a "devastating" blow to the nation's poultry sector, an industry group said on Tuesday, with sales reportedly plunging amid concerns over food safety.

Chinese authorities say they do not know how the H7N9 avian influenza - which has killed seven people and sickened 24 - is spreading, though it is believed the infection is passing from birds to humans.

"The impact is extremely big. It's really a devastating blow to the market for broilers," Qiu Baoqin, vice secretary general of China's National Poultry Industry Association, told AFP. Broilers are young chickens sold ready for cooking.

Qiu could not quantify the impact, saying companies were still evaluating, but state media said poultry sales have plunged in some areas of China as consumers shun fowl.

"Sales of chicken and ducks have dropped sharply these days," the official Xinhua news agency quoted a poultry seller in the eastern city of Hangzhou as saying. "Although prices have fallen by 20%, they still sell poorly."

In the northern city of Shijiazhuang, daily chicken sales have tumbled more than 50% from a week earlier at the city's largest agricultural market, the state-backed China News Service reported.

Human H7N9 infections have so far been confined to China's developed eastern region. Shanghai has banned trade in live poultry and shut markets, while nearby Nanjing and Suzhou have followed suit.

China produced more than 18 million tonnes of poultry last year, accounting for over 20% of its meat output, according to official data. City residents ate an average 10.59kg of the meat per person in 2011.

But the country has been hit by a series of food scandals in recent years, some caused by producers deliberately using sub-standard or illegal ingredients, making the public wary over what they consume.

Authorities have advised the public to avoid live birds, but offered reassurances that poultry and eggs are safe to eat if cooked properly.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...