|Dead chickens packed in bags are reported to have been thrown around residential areas in northern Hưng Yên Province’s Đông Tảo Commune. – Photo dantri.com.vn|
HƯNG YÊN – Farmers in Hưng Yên Province are panicking over the mass deaths of Đông tảo chicken-a rare Vietnamese breed-following the Lunar New Year (Tết) festival.
Local authorities said they were coordinating with the veterinary office to determine the cause of the deaths, Dân Trí online newspaper reported on Monday.
Nguyễn Trọng Thuần, Deputy Chairman of the People’s Committee of Khoái Châu District’s Đông Tảo Commune where the special chicken are mostly raised, said the deaths occurred before and after Tết.
Locals were hiding their chickens because they feared their own breeds could be infected and the deaths could affect the market consumption, according to Thuần.
He also affirmed that authorities had not yet identified the cause of the mass deaths, although farmers believed the chickens suffered from a blood disease, and not the flu.
“Following Tết holidays, the issue was reported to the district’s veterinary centre and local households were asked to destroy their dead chickens following regulations for environment protection,” Thuần said.
“We are still counting the dead chickens so we cannot report the exact number right now,” he added.
However, according to the media, many farmers buried their dead chickens in the ground or threw them away randomly and this had adversely affected the environment.
The dead chickens were thrown in canals and rice fields thus had led to a bad smell and risked the spread of an epidemic.
Lê Thị Kim, a local, told Việt Nam Television the stench could be smelt in the entire area and made people uncomfortable.
“A flock of 40 strong chickens in my farm also died due to contact with the dead chickens that were thrown all over the area,” Kim said.
The Đông Tảo chicken trademark is the result of a project started in 2013 by Hưng Yên ’s Department of Science and Technology and the Investip Company.
Distinctive for their gigantic drumsticks, Đông Tảo chicken have heavy figures, thick skin and red meat.
The delicacy has long been popular among gourmet groups across the country. – VNS