Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday said the city government would demand full cooperation from local vendors with regard to the ban on slaughtering live poultry in markets starting on Friday next week, adding that it would fine those who fail to cooperate.
The measure, to be implemented by the Department of Health in an effort to prevent the spread of the H7N9 avian influenza virus, bans the slaughter of live poultry at all markets nationwide starting on Friday next week in the wake of the first confirmed H7N9 case in the nation.
In Taipei, 170 out of 177 vendors who sell live poultry have agreed to change their business model by the deadline, while seven vendors are still refusing to implement the ban.
“We want to take the opportunity to end the tradition of slaughtering live poultry in markets and to improve sanitation. Local vendors should not have any doubt about the city government’s determination to implement the ban,” Hau said at Taipei City Hall.
Taipei Market Administration Office director Wang San-chung (王三中) said the city began explaining the ban to the 177 vendors two weeks ago and it would continue to communicate with the remaining seven vendors that still insist on selling live poultry.
Starting on Friday next week, vendors who fail to cooperate with the ban face a fine of between NT$20,000 and NT$100,000, in accordance with the Animal Industry Act (畜牧法).
Wang said those who still refuse to cooperate after being fined could face legal action.
All slaughtering of poultry in the city will be done at Huanan Public Market in Wanhua District (萬華) when the ban takes effect next week.
According to the office, between 50,000 and 60,000 birds are slaughtered in Taipei each day, with between 20,000 and 30,000 slaughtered at markets.
To smooth the implementation of the ban, the city government has promised to give a NT$100,000 subsidy to poultry vendors who become frozen poultry vendors.
Those who decide to quit the business altogether will receive a subsidy of NT$600,000 when they return their booths to the city’s markets.