Kampung chickens being sold in Singapore are real and not farm chickens passed off by suppliers.
The Star newspaper in Malaysia had reported earlier this week that consumers in the country were being duped by chicken sellers into buying farm-bred chickens instead of the more healthy and tasty kampung chicken.
The birds were allegedly dyed yellow, a distinctive trait which kampung chickens possess. Aniline, a type of dye often used on leather and wood, was believed to be used to colour the chickens.
Here in Singapore, though, kampung chicken lovers have little cause for concern.
Singapore's Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority said it closely monitors the chickens imported into the country.
Both chicken and chicken meat products are checked for contamination before they are allowed for sale.
Kampung chicken suppliers and restaurant owners told The New Paper that they have never had any trouble with Malaysian suppliers involving phoney kampung chickens.
They also said they would have enough experience to spot a fake just by seeing the birds.
And colour is not the only way to differentiate between the two types of fowl.
The owner of Kampong Chicken Eating House, who wanted to be known only as Mr Teo, said one of the most distinctive features of kampung chickens are their "skinny legs" and leaner bodies.
Kampong 18 Chicken's owner, Mr Ou Siang Chin, 65, added that taste was another factor.
"You have to try the kampung chicken to know the difference," he said.
Kampung chickens are said to have less fat and are healthier for consumption as they are fed corn, rather than antibiotics-laced chicken feed, which is said to maintain health and promote growth in regular farm-bred chickens.
Many Singaporean consumers are not aware of what kampung chickens are, said the kampung chicken sellers.
Mr Teo said most locals do not know about the skinnier legs and complain when they are served bony, meatless drumsticks.
Mr Stanley Yow, who owns Stanley's Fresh Chicken and Duck Suppliers, corrected a common misconception that Singaporeans have about kampung chicken.
He said: "Just because it is not raised in a kampung, doesn't mean it is not kampung chicken."
He explained that kampung chicken is a breed of chicken, and not just a kampung-raised chicken.
"No matter how they are raised, kampung chickens will always taste better than regular ones," Mr Yow said.
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