Avian flu leads to rising fresh chicken prices   2011-12-24 13:25:15            

BEIJING, Dec. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- Fresh chicken is an important dish on the dinner table for people in Southern China during winter solstice, a traditional Chinese festival for family reunion.

But this year, people in Hong Kong may find the festival spoiled as chicken prices rise following the discovery of the bird flu virus in the carcass of a dead chicken on Wednesday. Local authorities have collected samples from 1,000 chickens from 30 markets. Andrew Dupuis has more.

The poultry market was not as brisk as usual. Hong Kong residents were forced to buy frozen chicken as an alternative for winter solstice celebration on Thursday.

Hong Kong Resident, said, "It's a Chinese tradition to use fresh chicken for soup, frozen chicken is not satisfactory."

Hong Kong Resident, said, "The price for frozen chicken is as high as fresh chicken."

Nearly 20,000 live chickens were culled on Wednesday after the bird flu was detected, the largest cull in three years.

Shop owners had to take out frozen chicken to sell instead, and the price, although doubled, could hardly satisfy the market demand. They had to find an alternative.

Resturant Manager, Hong Kong, said, "We’re trying to make up the flavour of fresh chickens by cooking skills."

Local authorities in HONG KONG have banned the sale and import of live poultry for the next three weeks.

It also led to gloomy expectations for poultry products during the upcoming spring festival.

Hong Kong officials are still tracing the source of the virus, and have increased monitoring for the bird flu at hospitals.



Editor: Zhang Xiang
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