Via the South China Morning Post: Guangzhou begins trial ban of live poultry sales after H7N9 wet market tests. Excerpt, with my bolding:
Guangzhou suspended sales of live poultry at nearly a third of its wet markets yesterday as it began a four-month pilot scheme.
The move was instigated after stalls in 60 per cent of the city's wet markets tested positive for the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus at the end of last month.
Upon conclusion of the trial on September 30, the city government proposes gradually extending the ban, covering chickens, ducks, geese and pigeons, to other parts of the metropolis. The ban is expected to be implemented citywide by 2024.
Currently, it affects 298 live poultry stalls at 82 wet markets in Yuexiu district, and in parts of Tianhe, Liwan and Panyu districts, where vendors will sell centrally slaughtered chickens that will be provided by three designated suppliers.
However, the policy was not welcomed by Guangzhou locals, with vendors complaining of a loss of business, and consumers who insist on buying live poultry saying they will travel to other districts or seek underground vendors of fresh birds.
The move is viewed by some residents as the beginning of the end of a 2,000-year Cantonese culinary tradition that views the freshness of ingredients as greatly affecting the taste and texture of dishes.
The Hangzhou government in Zhejiang province permanently banned all live poultry sales in the inner city in February.
A 34-year-old housewife who refused to be named said she spent 100 yuan (HK$125) a week on live chickens and would seek out live fowls even after the ban.
"The meat of frozen chicken, long after it was slaughtered, has no texture. Existing marketing irregularities also mean many vendors sell sick chickens, so I insist on having the birds slaughtered in front of me to make sure they are healthy," she said.
In a wet market in the Taojin area of Yuexiu district, all live poultry vendors closed their stalls on the first day of the ban as businesses tried to minimise losses.
"I'm afraid my business will no longer be viable, so I need to wait and see. No one buys centrally slaughtered chickens, and I'm not ready to introduce them yet," said a vendor surnamed Wang, who left a notice for customers to call her for freshly slaughtered chickens.