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Poultry Processors Furious at Govt Rule Change

by 5m Editor
7 May 2010, at 10:19am

TAIWAN - Poultry processors are demanding government help after the agriculture council reversed the law halting live bird markets.

More than 300 operators of poultry slaughterhouses yesterday gathered in front of the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA), protesting against the COA's flip-flopped policy on whether ban poultry dealers from killing chickens, ducks and geese alive at traditional retail markets.

An official source in China reports that the protestors shouted slogans, unfurled banners and threw eggs at the COA office to voice their resentment over the COA's changing policy on poultry butchery.

As part of its efforts to counter the avian flu crisis, the COA decided in 2006 to ban poultry dealers from killing chickens, ducks and geese alive at traditional markets. The ban has been put into practice on a trial basis over the past few years, and was scheduled to come into effect on 1 April.

The decision has prompted local slaughterhouse operators to invest heavily in installing poultry killing equipment to cash in on the business opportunity made available after the aforementioned ban is thoroughly put into practice.

The COA announced on 26 March, however, that poultry dealers will not be required to have their chickens, ducks and geese killed at slaughterhouses after all. This means that they can either kill the poultry alive right at traditional markets or at slaughterhouses.

Angered by the announcement, slaughterhouse operators called for the government to acquire the new slaughterhouses, which will otherwise fold. The protestors claimed that each poultry slaughterhouse invested up to NT$70 to 80 million in installing related equipment.