Taipei prepares for ban on slaughtering in markets
By Lauly Li, The China Post
April 26, 2013, 12:14 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Starting today, the Taipei government will assist poultry vendors to prepare for a coming ban on the slaughter of poultry in traditional markets, Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday.
According to Deputy Mayor Chen Hsiung-wen (陳雄文), the city will conduct a survey of 30 traditional markets, comprising over 170 vendors, to find their opinions on how they plan to meet the new rules.
If a vendor wishes to close their stall and change career, the city government will offer a subsidy of NT$600,000, Chen said. If the vendor wants to sell frozen poultry products, the city government will offer a NT$100,000 subsidy for the vendor to buy freezers.
If the vendor continues to slaughter poultry at their stall after the ban is introduced they will faces fines of between NT$20,000 and NT$100,000.
Chen said the city government will finish the survey within one week. After reviewing the findings, the city will then begin assisting vendors to conform to the new rules before they come into effect, possibly as early as May 17.
The mayor said in order to adhere to the policy, the city government will communicate with the vendors and ensure they have the best chances of responding to a potential outbreak of H7N9 avian influenza.
False H7N9 Test Results
Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Lin Chi-hung (林奇宏) said the patient confirmed to have Taiwan's first case of H7N9 had three rapid diagnostic tests for the disease after being hospitalized. The result of the first two came back negative, while the third returned a positive result.
The deputy mayor said Taipei has urged hospitals to report any previous suspected carriers who returned negative test results and were told to return home and monitor their own health conditions.
Chen said the city government will keep monitoring suspected cases and conduct follow-up medical checks on the patients.
1999 Hotline Ready
Mayor Hau said there will be DOH officials manning the 1999 hotline so citizens can get answers on any inquiries they have regarding H7N9.
The 1999 service is also available for foreign tourists.
The mayor urged the public not to panic, adding that the city has one contingency hospital and 16 isolation hospitals ready for any potential outbreak.