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Poultry sellers plug holiday demand with unverified birds

Update: January, 07/2014 - 08:11
Poultry are being inspected in Ha Vi market of Ha Noi's Thuong Tin District. Large amount of smuggled chicken are being found in makeshift markets around Ha Noi and HCM City as Tet is three weeks to go. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue

HA NOI (VNS)— Large quantities of smuggled chicken are being found in makeshift markets around Ha Noi and HCM City to meet rising demand for the coming Tet (Lunar New Year).

The surge in demand has prompted the sale of chicken with unknown origins in almost all temporary markets in the capital, while illegal activities relating to the chicken trade were being undertaken illegally in about 100 places throughout HCM City,

In Ha Noi's Tu Liem District, the area is becoming known for having the highest amount of contraband chicken, with sellers unable to provide documents verify the origin of poultry being sold to local consumers.

At the Gate of the Academy of Finance's collective quarter, where there are typically 5-7 chicken coops for sale, chicken vendors claimed the poultry had been raised in the neighbouring provinces of Bac Giang, Hung Yen, and Vinh Phuc. However, none could provide quarantine documents to verify the source of the chickens being sold for between VND100,000-110,000 (US$4.8-5).

The sale of unverified poultry has risen rapidly throughout both major cities.

In Cau Giay District, unverified chickens are being sold in temporary markets near Tran Binh and Hoa Bang streets, Nghia Tan market, and on Quan Hoa River bank.

One local seller argued the current law didn't require sellers to verify their chicken.

"It is unnecessary to have quarantine papers for the chicken because they are all raised by farmers in rural areas," the local man told Gia dinh & Xa hoi (Family & Society) newspaper.

Addressing the recent rise of un-quarantined poultry, the Ha Noi Sub-department of Animal Health said regulations concerning the chicken trade needed to be tightened.

According to a decision by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2005, only those raising more than 100 domestic fowls and slaughtering more than 50 chicken were required to conduct quarantine procedures.

Without piece meal providers needing to verify their produce for quarantine purposes, authorities face a dilemma in helping distinguish between smuggled and local poultry being sold to consumers.

According to the Animal Health Sub-department of HCM City, illegal activities relating to the chicken trade were being undertaken illegally in about 100 places around the city, including in Districts 5, 8, 12, Go Vap, Binh Chanh, and Hoc Mon. The department also noted the situation had worsened in the lead up to the Tet festival.

On streets such as Pham Hung, Le Van Luong, and Nguyen Van Linh, unverified chickens were being sold between VND10,000-20,000 ($0.5-1) for each. However, it is suspected many of the live unverified chickens are slaughtered in insanitary locations such as street pavements.

According to the deputy director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Animal Husbandry Department Nguyen Duc Trong, it is almost impossible to completely prevent the illegal import of chicken into the country due to the lucrative nature of the business. — VNS


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