Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bird flu costs China industry $6.5 billion, according to state media

AFP: China's human H7N9 bird flu outbreak has cost the country's poultry industry more than 40 billion yuan ($6.5 billion) as consumers shun chicken, government officials said, according to state media.

The sector has been losing an average of one billion yuan a day since the end of March, the Beijing Times said on Monday, citing Li Xirong, head of the National Animal Husbandry Service.

H7N9 avian influenza has infected 130 people in China, killing 35, since it was found in humans for the first time, according to latest official data.

Poultry sales have tumbled and prices plunged, Li said, causing major financial problems and job losses as a result.

Another agriculture ministry official, Wang Zongli, said government agencies should set a good example for the public by treating "poultry products in a correct way", the report added....

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