The government will ‘accelerate proceedings’ to start replacing the sale of live poultry for frozen poultry according to statements by the Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan Hoi Fan following a permanent sub-committee meeting.
With a previous public opinion consultation on the issue revealing that residents were mostly against the removal of live poultry from sales points, Ms. Chan commented that the ‘gastronomical habits of residents’ and the ‘restructuring of the live poultry trade sector’ would be considered before a decision was made.
No specific date for the replacement was established, with the Secretary saying the decision was brought up for consideration after several cases of Bird Flu-infected poultry were discovered in the city’s markets in recent weeks, with the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) proceeding with prevention measures and culling.
Live poultry trade was suspended for three days at the end of January after an H7 strain of Bird Flu was detected, leading to the culling of 28,000 poultry.
Secretary Chan said communication would continue with the supply sector and with authorities in Mainland China to better reform the industry and health security measures for importing live poultry.
These measures include IACM taking members of the Advisory Council of Community Services to frozen meat supplying companies in Mainland China, in order to research methods used for food product conservation and assess the quality of products sent to the MSAR.
The Secretary also said that the new frozen products market could be transferred in the second half of the year to the wholesale market to be developed next to the Zhuhai-Macau border in Ilha Verde.
The new wholesale market is expected to start operations within the second quarter of this year; Secretary Chan announced that professionals from the trade sector were already shown the compound and that frozen products were expected to be moved to the location ‘as soon as possible.’