Wednesday, March 20

Only 10% drop in chicken sales following bird flu outbreak


Sale of fresh chicken has dropped slightly by 10 per cent following the bird flu outbreak.

KOTA KINABALU: Sale of fresh chicken has dropped slightly by 10 per cent following the bird flu outbreak.

Kota Kinabalu Lido Hawkers Association (PerLido) chairman Lee Seng Wah, who is also a wholesaler and retailer of fresh chicken, said his business had not been affected greatly by the bird flu.

He sources chicken from a farm in Papar.

“There is only a slight decrease of 10 per cent in sales.

“Business remains alright last Saturday and Sunday.”

He said some customers were a little apprehensive about consuming chicken, but restaurants were still purchasing fresh chicken from him.

Lee assured that the bird flu, or Avian Influenza, was under control as there had been no reports of mutation of the virus, or human infection so far.

“I still eat chicken everyday.

“Junz Wong (Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry) has assured that cooked chickens are safe for consumption.”

To a question, Lee said Sabah has about five major chicken farms, located in Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Tamparuli, Papar, Tawau and Sandakan, which supply around 100,000 chickens to the market daily.

He said the Department of Veterinary Services and Department of Health conducted strict monthly inspections on chicken farms and slaughterhouses respectively to ensure proper hygiene and safe consumption.

“Chicken farms are inspected twice a month and if there is any problem, the sale of chickens will be stopped immediately.”

He added that the relevant authority also inspected animal feed production facilities for any harmful ingredients that would affect human health, as well as carry out random testing on fresh chickens in the market monthly.

“The authorities are doing their job. And they are very strict in their inspections.

“Consumers can rest assured that chickens in the market are safe to eat.”

On the other hand, Kedai Kopi KTC that sells steamed chicken, roasted chicken and barbecued pork along Jalan Gaya has reported no decrease in the order of chicken rice from customers.

The operator, Madam Chok, said she did not source her chickens from large-scale farms because the way the birds were raised and slaughtered affected the taste and texture of chicken meat.

“I get my chickens from a small farm at Kiansom, Inanam.

“I buy in small quantities as we sell only four chickens everyday.”