Friday, March 16, 2012

The Market for Dead Chickens

A news report from Shandong TV warns consumers that cooked chicken could come from chickens that died of disease. According to the report a "Mr. Liu and several friends" ended up in the hospital after eating diseased chicken.

According to the report, when there is a disease outbreak farmers lose a lot of chickens despite trying to treat the disease with medications. Instead of destroying the dead chickens, farmers sell them to rogue traders in order to cut their losses. The reporter was told, "Wherever there are chicken farms, you will find traders who come looking for dead chickens."

The reporter went to a farming area. The farmers told him there were no sick chickens in their coops because they had sold them to traders who came asking for dead chickens.

The reporter met with several traders. He visited the biggest trader who operated out of the courtyard of a small village house. The reporter saw a freezer filled with dead chickens that had been bought that morning, plucked and gutted. The chickens had turned purple but the trader said they could be bleached white.

He then went to a processing plant where he also saw dead chickens. The company is a reputable one that advertises quality as its priority. The chicken is supplied to a company in Jinan (the capital of Shandong) which uses them to produce cooked chicken products.

The reporter hopes that government departments will crack down on this activity to prevent sick chickens from showing up on consumers' tables.

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