Nanjing demands poultry slaughter to curb flu

CHINA - After banning live poultry trade because of H7N9, Nanjing stepped up efforts to halt the spread of bird flu.

City authorities in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, ordered on Sunday that urban residents kill all their poultry and livestock, regardless of their health, by midnight Tuesday.

A fine of up to 50 yuan (S$10) would be imposed on residents who had livestock after the deadline.

City authorities will provide help in killing and disinfecting the animals upon request. By Tuesday, more than 2,000 livestock and poultry were slaughtered by the authority, a local newspaper reported.

However, a guideline for the disposal of infected animals published by the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday said that only animals confirmed as H7N9-positive should be killed and disinfected. The movement of other animals in same area should be restricted until the chances of their infection could be excluded.

Yao Jiezhang, a veterinarian and spokesman at the Beijing Bureau of Agriculture's animal husbandry and veterinary station, said Nanjing's measures go too far and could cause panic.

Nanjing suspended all live poultry trade and shuttered poultry markets on Saturday.

"We don't dare eat chicken," said Ji Shuhua, a Nanjing resident. "And there is no chicken being sold in the market now."

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