Pilot pro­gram shows poul­try mar­kets a new way to do busi­ness

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By LI WENFANG in Guangzhou li­wen­fang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A suc­cess­ful pilot pro­gram, fo­cus­ing on an in­no­va­tive ap­proach to run­ning poul­try mar­kets, could vastly re­duce the risk of bird flu, ac­cord­ing to a lead­ing spe­cial­ist.

Poul­try mar­kets have been iden­ti­fied as crit­i­cal risk points for the spread of bird flu viruses, such as H5N1, H7N9 and other emerg­ing in­fec­tious dis­eases, said John Edwards, se­nior tech­ni­cal co­or­di­na­tor with the Emer­gency Cen­ter for Trans­bound­ary An­i­mal Dis­eases China of­fice.

The of­fice is un­der the Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the United Na­tions.

Edwards ad­vo­cates adopt­ing a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship biose­cu­rity model to man­age those mar­kets, he told a sem­i­nar or­ga­nized by the FAO and the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture in Guangzhou, Guang­dong prov­ince, in July.

The model is com­pre­hen­sive in na­ture and in­cludes pro­duc­ers, vet­eri­nar­i­ans, lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and pub­lic health agen­cies.

This ap­proach, Edwards said, to con­trol poul­try dis­eases was in­tro­duced in Bangladesh, Egypt and In­done­sia in 2008.

“It has achieved sub­stan­tial progress in the preven­tion and con­trol of avian in­fluenza H5N1 and other emerg­ing in­fec­tious dis­eases.’’

The pilot pro­ject in China was ini­ti­ated in the Jiang­cun Live Bird Whole­sale Mar­ket in Guangzhou in April 2010 and it was com­pleted in Au­gust 2012.

“The re­sult has been quite sat­is­fac­tory. No sam­ple from our mar­ket has tested pos­i­tive for the H7N9 virus,” said Jiang Weifeng, gen­eral man­ager of the Jiangfeng In­dus­try Co.

The pro­ject team for the mar­ket sug­gested one-way traf­fic flow in the mar­ket with ve­hi­cle clean­ing sta­tions at both en­try and exit gates.

The team also in­sisted on ed­u­cat­ing mar­ket par­tic­i­pants on ef­fec­tive clean­ing and dis­in­fect­ing skills, and re­plac­ing bam­boo bird crates with me­tal ones.

The FAO in­vested in a clean­ing sta­tion for ve­hi­cles, a dis­in­fec­tion pro­gram and 200 me­tal bird crates.

Pro­tec­tive equip­ment was also sup­plied and a train­ing pro­gram en­sured that stan­dards would be up­held.

How­ever, there were mod­i­fi­ca­tions. One- way traf­fic was not adopted be­cause, as the mar­ket man­ager said, it does not al­low poul­try pur­chasers the quick ac­cess needed to bar­gain.

And more steel bird crates are re­quired, since more than 3,000 are used in the mar­ket.

The team in­sisted on the sep­a­ra­tion of slaugh­ter ar­eas from the live sec­tion.

Up­keep and main­tain­ing stan­dards are key to the suc­cess.

Ve­hi­cles and bird crates are cleaned ev­ery three days. The clean­ing of a ve­hi­cle costs 40 yuan ($6.5) to 50 yuan, de­pend­ing on the size of the ve­hi­cle, with 25 yuan com­ing from the ve­hi­cle owner and the rest paid by the mar­ket man­age­ment, Jiang said.

The dis­in­fec­tants used are pro­vided free of charge by the lo­cal an­i­mal health in­spec­tion in­sti­tute, he said.

Peng Cong, di­rec­tor of the Guangzhou An­i­mal Health In­spec­tion In­sti­tute, said; “It takes time and ef­fort to change the habits of the stall own­ers.”

Stall own­ers balked at first at the cost of pay­ing 250 yuan a month to clean their ve­hi­cles. But once they re­al­ized that the po­ten­tial al­ter­na­tive was the clo­sure of the mar­ket, they read­ily agreed, Jiang said.

Cai Xi­ufeng, a stall owner, said the cleaner mar­ket has made both her­self and her clients feel safer and has helped boost busi­ness.

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