Disease-free chickens hit the market
GUANGZHOU: The first batch of 200,000 live, quality-assured chickens, which all wear coloured plastic rings around their feet, hit Guangzhou's markets on Friday, at a time when the threat of bird flu has kept poultry off many menus.
The ring-wearing chickens come from 10 designated poultry farms, which are located in four districts in Guangzhou.
The rings, which come in four colours (blue, red, yellow, and white), identify districts the chickens are from.
All the rings are also marked with figures between 001 and 010, which stand for the 10 individual farms that raise the birds.
Designed specifically for these birds, the rings cannot be taken off once they have been put on, preventing chicken traders from reusing them.
Rules also require designated farms to conduct health tests on all the chickens, including tests for immunity and bird flu antibodies. Every chicken comes with a file that has detailed information about its health.
According to Guangzhou Animal Epidemic Prevention Centre, the next batch of rings will have more anti-counterfeit features.
"I believe there are no fakes among the first batch," said Fang Gangzheng, the director of the centre. "We did not unveil the genuine rings until Thursday."
Fang said the cost of the rings is being shared between the government and the owners of the farms so that the price of the chickens remains stable.
As the first batch of ring-wearing chickens were far fewer than the public wanted to buy, they were available in only a few markets.
The government might increase the number of these chickens in the future, according to the market's response, Fang said.
"Since the government has banned on-the-spot live poultry slaughtering, I have suspended my business," a female poultry trader, who identified herself only as Lin, said. "All of the ring-wearing chickens were reserved a few days ago."
"I want to buy a ring-wearing chicken, but I do not know where to go," said Liu Xiu'e, a Guangzhou housewife.
She said the move would make it more likely she would eat chickens, but she suggested that the government publicize the list of markets that sell the quality-assured birds.
Since the provincial government banned on-the-spot live poultry slaughtering last week, government officials have inspected 4,914 wet markets and 32,000 poultry booths across the province.
(China Daily 03/18/2006 page2)
|| About Us | Contact Us | Site Map | Jobs | About China Daily ||
|Copyright 2005 Chinadaily.com.cn All rights reserved. Registered Number: 20100000002731|