Poultry firms seek federal pull

by 5m Editor
20 January 2006, at 12:00am

DELAWARE - Poultry means big business in Sussex County, and major chicken producers are looking for more federal help in restoring consumer confidence that America&#39;s product - Delmarva&#39;s in particular - is safe to eat. Amid worldwide avian influenza fear and a decline in consumer demand for chicken abroad, Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., sampled hands-on testing for bird flu at an Allen&#39;s Hatchery farm, pledging to free up federal allocations to support the voluntary testing program adopted by large poultry companies. &quot;The state of Delaware enjoys a diverse economy. We build cars ... we make chemicals ... we have a lot of credit card banks ... a lot of corporations ... a lot of tourism,&quot; said Sen. Carper. &quot;But for the longest time, agriculture has been the underpinning of our economy, especially in southern Delaware. And when we talk about an agriculture economy in southern Delaware, we&#39;re talking about chickens. It&#39;s important for us that the consumers here in this country and abroad feel safe when they eat our chicken.&quot; Sen. Carper&#39;s stop in Seaford featured a visit to the Atlanta Farm, a poultry farm owned by Allen&#39;s Hatchery and one of the estimated 500 in the Allen&#39;s chain. According to veterinarian Tom Holder of Allen&#39;s Hatchery, the voluntary testing program hatched by the National Chicken Council involves saliva swab testing of a percentage of all flocks for avian flu 14 days before they got to market. <i>Source: NewsZap</I>

5m Editor