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Myanmar poultry sales affected by bird flu

Officials have confirmed that the H5N1 strain of avian influenza had been found on a farm in Yangon.

An official at Yangon's largest poultry market said that chicken sales had halved since the official announcement, as consumers are wary about consuming poultry.
"My chicken sales are down about 30%," said Tun Tun, a chicken seller at a small market in downtown Yangon. "Some customers don't want to touch the chicken. They don't even want to walk by my shop."
"People are afraid because dead birds have been found," said a senior market official, adding that domestic chicken prices had fallen from 4,200 kyats (US$3.4) per 1.6 kg to 3,200 kyats (US$2.6) within two days.
Authorities have been spraying pesticide to contain the virus, and approximately 1,500 birds had been culled. They believe wild birds may have carried the H5N1 virus to poultry farms; but dead crows, owls and sparrows found in Yangon have all tested negative for bird flu. The governments livestock and veterinary departments is restricting the transport of poultry and quarantining areas around the outbreaks.
Myanmar had declared itself bird-flu free in September last year, after months without any new cases following an outbreak around the central city of Mandalay in March 2006.
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