June 23, 2008


Hong Kong offers HKD1 billion for poultry traders to end live trading


Hong Kong's government proposed Friday (June 20, 2008) HKD1 billion as compensation package for poultry farmers to surrender their licenses in a bid to curb bird flu outbreaks.


Secretary for Food and Health York Chow said that the amount is three times the compensation offered to traders who surrendered their live poultry licenses in 2004 and 2005.


A total of 3,000 poultry trade workers, including farmers and distributors, will be compensated.


Each chicken stall-owner would get between HKD600,000 to HKD1.5 million, depending on the size of their stall and turnover.


Chow pointed out the need for a consensus to be reached shortly as the government needs to obtain approval for their compensation from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council before this legislative session ends in July.


The poultry sector now has to either accept the compensation package or the planned daily cleansing on live markets.


A trader said that the sector again has to face the problem of central slaughtering.


If the market accepts the compensation, live chickens will no longer be sold in Hong Kong.


The trade will discuss the compensation package over the weekend and discuss with the government Monday (June 23, 2008).