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June 21, 2013

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Live poultry sales resume in Shanghai

It was business as usual yesterday at two of the local wholesale and retail markets in the city after authorities lifted a live poultry ban, imposed in April over H7N9 bird flu fears.

Officials have said the live poultry trade will be gradually phased out due to hygiene problems, but for now traders were cashing in with one business operator saying that the wholesale price of live chickens had gone up since the ban.

Gu Ailin, the business operator of the 600 live chickens, told that the wholesale price was 17 yuan (US$2.8) per kilogram - up by 2 yuan.

At the Shanghai Agricultural Product Wholesale Market yesterday, 600 live chickens raised in Pudong's Datuan Town were transported into the market about 11:45am.

The market, which had been closed for 10 weeks, was already crowded with poultry trade retailers who had been waiting since 9:30am.

Zhao Huixiang, a local resident, came to the market specially to buy live chicken after learning that the ban had been lifted. He bought a live chicken for 27 yuan.

According to new regulations, live chickens cannot be taken out of the market and must be slaughtered. Only chickens, pigeons and quails are being allowed to be put up for sale while live ducks and geese remain banned.

Many residents who went to the retail markets to buy live chickens yesterday were disappointed as there was nothing on offer yet.

Only two designated wholesale markets - in the Pudong New Area and Songjiang District - reopened after hygiene test results were accepted by the authorities.

Xu Weiming, general manager of Huhuai Wholesale Agricultural Market in Songjiang, told that live poultry trade at retail markets would start from today.

But it was still not clear if all the retail stores had been cleared to sell live poultry.

Xu said the Huhuai market will be shut for at least one day in a week.

Quarantine checks are also being carried out at major roads since yesterday to check out-of-town poultry entering the city.

Officials have said the live poultry trade will be phased out with the number of retail stores to be brought down to 200 from the current 461 stores.


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