BEIJING, Oct 29 (AFP): Poultry markets in major Chinese cities have seen business decline steeply after a week in which the nation suddenly reported three separate outbreaks on bird flu, state media said Saturday.
Daily sales at Guantang, Shanghai's largest poultry wholesale market, dropped nearly 80 per cent to around 20,000 birds, forcing vendors to slash prices, the China Daily reported.
"The price for a home-raised chicken has halved to less than 10 yuan (1.2 dollars) per kilogram," said Wang Baorong, the market's general manager.
Business has also suffered in Beijing, where poultry retailers at the Wanziju agricultural market complain about taking a direct economic hit.
"My income has been cut in half since the bird flu panic started," Xu Min, a Wanziju fowl retailer, told the paper.
The agriculture ministry Friday insisted that no human cases of bird flu have so far been documented anywhere in China.
China has reported three outbreaks of bird flu in the past week, in the northern region of Inner Mongolia and the provinces of Hunan and Anhui. The virus has killed more than 60 people in Asia since late 2003.