Disease prevention threatens survival of smallholder poultry farmers

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After less than a month since a new abattoir law came into effect, smallholder poultry farmers have marched north to the capital in protest. Smallholder poultry farmers are angered that under the new law many native chicken breeds now fail to meet Taiwanese slaughtering guidelines. The new poultry slaughtering regulations, which stipulate electrical stunning, effectively exclude a large percentage of smallholder poultry farmers, who generally rear a relatively small number of chickens.

Moreover, poultry abattoirs using electrical stunning processes are not only ill-equipped to deal with the irregularity of native breeds, and mainly focus on white broiler chickens, but there are also insufficient numbers of local abattoirs to meet the farmers’ needs.

Without amendments to the current regulations or the government stepping forward to facilitate negotiations between smallholder poultry farmers and abattoirs, it is unlikely a solution will be found in the short term. The heritage chicken industry, worth an estimate US$3.5 million per year in Taiwan, has traditionally relied on on-site slaughtering to meet demand while ensuring freshness.

The current situation threatens to snatch away the livelihoods of countless smallholder poultry farmers in Taiwan.  Many are worried that in a hasty attempt to implement disease prevention measures, the Council of Agriculture is inadvertently killing off a traditional way of life. Avian influenza is a common enemy of all poultry farmers, but in order to implement disease prevention as well as advance agricultural development and diversification, it seems clear that the authorities need to come up with a better solution. 

PeoPo 公民新聞 by brodsky

Disease prevention threatens survival of smallholder poultry farmers
URL:http://www.peopo.org/news/113071

(以下是中文對照)

防疫關頭 生存唯(危)雞

上路不到一個月的活禽禁宰政策,引起雞農們北上抗議,尤其是台灣本土的特色土雞,因不符電宰規格,以及在地屠宰場數量不足,面臨難以生存的危機。品質優良的特色土雞小農,碰上以宰殺白肉雞為主的電宰場,沒有完善的配套或政府介入協調,短期內很難迅速磨合。年產值高達238億的特色土雞,仰賴在地新鮮、人工小量屠宰的產業特色,是否會在農委會倉促的防疫措施下,率先一刀斃命?禽流感是所有家禽畜產業者的共同敵人,在防疫和多元農業發展間取得平衡,需要主管機關拿出更多智慧。

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