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February 28, 2014

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Traders sidestep ban by selling live poultry online

Live chicken is being sold online despite a three-month ban on live poultry in the city.

To beat the H7N9 bird flu virus, Shanghai authorities have closed all live poultry markets in the city from January 31 to April 30, when the virus tends to be at its peak.

An official from the Shanghai Agricultural Commission told Shanghai Daily yesterday that the sales were illegal and could endanger lives because of close contacts between people and live poultry.

In November, the authorities announced the ban on live poultry trades as a precaution against the seasonal pathogenesis of bird flu. But a woman, with her telephone number and QQ account displayed on her e-commerce site on, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that she still had chickens to sell. She said her retail store on Shuidian Road in Hongkou District has been shut since January 31.

She said the chickens, weighing about 1 kilogram, were sold for 60 yuan (US$9.78). She delivered them herself, adding the chickens were raised by her parents in Chongming County.

The e-shop owner insisted her chickens were all healthy and free of virus but did not have  certificates to prove them.

The woman, who could not be identified, wouldn’t say how many live chickens she had sold since the ban came into effect.

Elsewhere, a rural farm was found to be selling chickens for 128 yuan and 168 yuan, Shanghai Morning Post reported.

Some farm owners claim they did not violate any government regulation, saying the ban order was limited to live poultry markets. They said their chickens were safe as the local epidemic prevention departments regularly checked their farms.


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