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China's poultry sector pushes for muted coverage of bird flu

Beijing - Chinese poultry producing companies have requested less-detailed news coverage of bird flu, a report said, as losses to the industry reached billions of yuan.

The National Association of Poultry Farmers and some provincial counterparts asked authorities in a letter to "stop reporting individual cases" of the latest outbreak, the state-run Xinhua newsagency reported Tuesday.

The association said officials should "avoid excessively detailed reports" on latest cases in the current outbreak, which has caused its members 20 billion yuan (3.3 billion dollars) in losses this year.

The National Animal Husbandry Association said the bird flu scares of the past two winters cost the industry more than 100 billion yuan in 2013.

Authorities in the southern coastal province of Guangdong have stopped volunteering reports on latest infections in recent days, Xinhua said.

The death toll for this year stood at 25 Wednesday out of more than100 recorded cases.

The poultry sector employed 70 million people in China and represented one-fourth of the country’s agricultural output, with revenues of 689 billion yuan in 2012, the South China Morning Post quoted the China Livestock Information Network as saying.

DPA


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