The Government has decided to ban the import and sale of all live poultry in Macao, starting from 1 May 2017.
The measure, to keep the public from having contact with live poultry, aims to protect further the community’s health, prevent diseases and maintain Macao’s stable socio-economic development.
Preventing contact between consumers and live poultry has been proven by experts to be an effective way to prevent transmission to humans of certain infective viruses. It also significantly reduces the risk of outbreaks of disease within a community and the threat that avian influenza in particular could pose to the Macao public.
Macao recorded five outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry between February 2016 and February 2017. With each event, the Government activated contingency plans in order to prevent the relevant virus from spreading further. These included culls of all live birds in the contaminated batches and temporary bans on the sale of live birds in all local markets. During the same period, Macao recorded the city’s first case of human infection from avian influenza A (H7N9) virus.
Following the sale ban on live poultry, the Government will – as always – spare no effort in monitoring the quality of chilled and frozen poultry.
In addition, the Government will remain in close touch with the local poultry industry regarding a reasonable scheme to relieve the impact of its new measure. The Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau will provide necessary assistance – within its power – to aid the industry.
Following three outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry that occurred between December 2016 and February 2017, the Government plans to provide subsidies to help affected industry participants. The subsidies will include compensation for the cull of contaminated poultry. In addition, each industry participant affected will receive a daily allowance of 200 patacas for the period in which sales were suspended following the outbreaks of avian influenza.