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August 01, 2007

Saudis ban live poultry sales

Via Arab News: Live Poultry Sale Ban Comes Into Effect. Excerpt:

The closure of live poultry stores within city limits as a precautionary measure against avian flu and other hygiene concerns went into effect yesterday after a three-year grace period, which included one extension.

But owners of these small businesses in Jeddah, who have been told that they should replace their live chickens with factory-slaughtered frozen poultry, are complaining that the local abattoir that is supposed to meet their needs are not up and running yet and that they are forced to either wait or find higher priced purveyors of slaughtered chickens, either imported from halal frozen chicken suppliers or from other parts of the Kingdom.

Municipal officials are only now tendering bids to build the new 50,000 square meter slaughtering facility. The new slaughterhouse will inspect the poultry before wrapping and freezing them and supplying them to the shops that can no longer sell live poultry legally.

“I’m a small-business owner and I can’t keep paying rent and salary for my store until the new slaughterhouses operate,” said Saeed Al-Jihani, a Jeddah live-poultry vendor.

Some consumers are also saddened by the news that getting a fresh chicken (legally speaking) will now mean a trip to a countryside supplier.

“I will never buy frozen chicken, even if I have to buy live poultry and slaughter them myself,” said Ahmad Al-Ghamdi, a Jeddah schoolteacher.

Jeddah resident Saleh Al-Nimi says he won’t miss the live poultry shops in his neighborhood. “The shops stink. The workers look filthy,” he said. “Even the water they use to clean the slaughtered chicken is dirty.”

Mahmoud Kinsarah, head of the licensing department of the municipality, said the new regulation was put into effect to improve public health.

Posted by dymaxion at August 1, 2007 10:38 PM

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