June 27, 2008


Hong Kong poultry sector closer to accepting compensation package


Poultry traders in Hong Kong are expected to accept the government's offer for a compensation package and give up licenses to halt live poultry trade.


New Territories Chicken Breeders Association chairman Wong Yee-chuen, who had earlier insisted on continuing operations, said over 90 percent of the traders are now considering closing their businesses.


Yet Wong insists on a more reasonable deal. He urged the government to improve the amount of compensation on offer for the 400,000 chickens that have become too old to sell because of the ban, from HKD30 to HKD40 each.


Kowloon Poultry Transporter and Poulterer Association chairman Wong Tak-leung also said he is beginning to consider compensation, with half of them leaving because they get compensated as being both a retailer and a transporter.


Hong Kong Poultry Wholesalers Association chairman Tsui Ming-tuen added that if most retailers are closing down, in the end, some of the wholesalers will be forced to leave the business.


Retailers are close to surrendering their licenses under an improved deal --- an increase of almost HKD100 million or over 20 percent to a total of HKD513 million in compensation.


Retailers have until July 24 while wholesalers, transporters and farmers until September 24 to accept the government's compensation offer.