Chicken back on the menu

PHUKET: Phuket is starting to recover its appetite for chicken but the importation of live birds to the island is still banned, Sunart Wongchawalit, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office, said today. Only four companies out of 140 that had been checked were currently being allowed to bring processed chickens onto the island. Since the avian ‘flu outbreak hit other provinces, consumption of chickens on the island had dropped from 30,000 birds a day to 10,000, he said. The checkpoint at Tah Chatchai was still operating around the clock to make sure Phuket remained free of infection, he added. “People can be 100% certain that chickens in Phuket are not sick with bird ‘flu,” he said. “The good news is that Phuket people are starting to eat chicken and eggs again.” K. Sunart added that farmers had asked for stocks of birds on Phuket to be replenished but it would probably be two or three months before live chickens could be imported to Phuket again.

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