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May 6, 2013

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Vendors reach compensation deal as birds sent to slaughtering sites

Authorities in Jinshan District said yesterday that they had purchased the remaining 720 live birds for slaughter from poultry vendors who complained they were told to take their birds home in measures to control bird flu.

The district government said it had purchased the birds for 25 yuan (US$4.03) each after negotiations with nine poultry sellers on Saturday night. The birds were then sent to designated sites for slaughter.

Poultry sellers at Wan'an Wet Market in Zhujing Town, Jinshan, previously said they were told to take home almost 1,000 birds in early April. A large number of the birds had since died.

Vendors said they dumped the bodies without knowing if they had the H7N9 virus.

They said they had asked several government departments for help, but received no response.

A vendor surnamed Zhang said more than 100 of his birds died.

"I don't know whether they had the virus or not because no one tested them, and the wet market has done nothing," Zhang said.

An official surnamed Zhao with Wan'an Wet Market admitted the market did not provide a solution to deal with these birds after it stopped sales of live poultry on April 6. The city government ordered the market to stop sales of live birds in a measure to control the bird flu virus from spreading.

"Nine sellers were ordered to take home their chickens, ducks and pigeons," Zhao said.

Shanghai's poultry markets closed on April 5 and remain shuttered. On April 10, 11 slaughter spots were set up in the city.

Zhao said these vendors had originally been offered a subsidy of 3.5 yuan per kilogram for each chicken. But they may have been unhappy with the amount offered or believed the process for sending their birds to slaughtering sites was too complicated, Zhao added.

The birds involved were from Zhejiang Province and Jiading District in Shanghai.

Jinshan government said some of the birds died because the vendors, who are not farmers, lacked the knowledge to raise them and they were raised in basements and shabby plastic sheds without good ventilation.

The district government said it would inform operators again that they could send poultry to designated spots with quarantine certificates.


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