Freshly killed ducks back on the menu

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 April, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 April, 1998, 12:00am

About 600 freshly killed ducks will be sold to restaurants tomorrow.

The first batch of fresh ducks to be sold since the four-month ban on waterfowl will fetch a wholesale price of $15 per catty, the same as before the bird flu crisis.

Poultry dealer Kwok Chi-yau said he would today collect a licence to operate at the new central slaughterhouse. He is one of nine dealers expected to seek a permit.

He said tomorrow had been chosen as the opening day as it was a good day on the Chinese calendar.

'I dare not sell the ducks at a price too high as I'm not too sure about the response of the restaurants which have been taking frozen ducks at $8 to $11 per catty over the past few months,' he said.

The ducks would be collected from two farms at Lok Ma Chau at about 1 am, slaughtered at the Western Wholesale Food Market at 4 am and taken to restaurants at 8 am tomorrow.

Mr Kwok said only 600 birds would be traded on the first day as it could take staff a while to get used to new rules under which they must stand, rather than squat, when they kill birds.

The central slaughterhouse scheme was introduced for all imported ducks and geese after bird flu struck, killing six people and leading to the slaughter of 1.3 million chickens.

The aim is to separate live geese and ducks to minimise cross-contamination.