The government announced yesterday that all sales of live poultry in the city will be stopped at least for the next three days from today after discovering the H7 strain of the avian influenza virus (AIV) in a chicken sample at the Nam Yue Wholesale Market on Thursday.
The ban takes effect on the eve of the Year of the Rooster. Fresh chicken meat is a particularly popular dish during the Chinese New Year holiday.
Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) President Jose Fonseca Tavares made the announcement during a special press conference at the bureau’s headquarters in Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro on Thursday’s evening.
The press conference was jointly hosted by IACM and the Health Bureau (SSM).
IACM Administrative Committee member Ung Sau Hong said during the press conference that the H7 strain of the avian influenza virus was discovered in a sample from a batch of 2,000 chickens in the wholesale market.
Tavares said the government would cull the 14,000 chickens and 4,000 pigeons in the city’s only poultry wholesale market in Ilha Verde last night. All relevant locations would also be cleaned and disinfected, he said.
Ung said none of the poultry in the affected batch had left the wholesale market.
Ung said the at least three-day suspension of live poultry sales would mean live chickens would probably return to the markets as early as on Monday – the third day of the Lunar New Year of the Rooster.
Ung was quick to add that the date on which live poultry sales would be resumed will be decided after the bureau and its mainland counterparts identify the source of the affected poultry.
Live poultry sales were also temporarily banned in June and December last year because of the H7 avian influenza virus (AIV).
(Macau News / The Macau Post Daily)