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May 5, 2013

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Payment offer for poultry sellers

PAYMENTS have been offered to poultry sellers who say they were given no advice or support after being told to take their birds home from market, in measures to control bird flu in Shanghai.

Sellers at Wan'an Wet Market in Zhujing Town, Jinshan District, claim many birds subsequently died as they were unable to care for them.

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

The vendors accuse the market of "doing nothing" to help them.

Authorities in suburban Jinshan District said yesterday that they would provide subsidies to vendors who are willing to send their remaining poultry for slaughter. Talks have started, officials said.

The government said it would inform operators again that they could send their poultry for slaughtering at designated spots with quarantine certificates.

Sellers told local media yesterday that some nine sellers were told to take home almost 1,000 birds in early April, and a large number of these have since died.

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

The poultry sellers said they had appealed for help to several government departments, but received no response.

Jinshan government said some of the birds died because the vendors - who are not farmers - lacked the knowledge to raise them.

The district also said that by April 6, the district had culled 3,600 birds. But these vendors refused to have their stock slaughtered at the scene, instead taking them from the market to raise themselves.

It also claimed they did not subsequently send their stock to designated slaughtering spots as they were unhappy with the subsidies offered.

Officials said they had no evidence of dead poultry being discarded randomly.

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

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

The outbreak of H7N9 has so far led to the deaths of 27 people around China, including 13 in Shanghai.


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