LOAN OFFER ENDS STANDOFF OVER CULL
Mary Ann Benitez
A farmer at the centre of a four-day standoff with government officials yesterday agreed to kill 9,000 chickens at his Pat Heung farm, where about 1,400 birds have died from avian flu.
The farmer, surnamed Yip, had resisted demands to have the birds killed without adequate compensation, but relented when he was told he could receive up to $150,000 in low-interest loans to restart his business, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said.
Government vets helped the farmer to dispose of the chickens - suspected of carrying the bird flu virus - at three of nine sheds in the farm. Some 40,000 chickens in the other sheds in the farm and a further 450,000 in eight neighbouring farms have been vaccinated in a bid to control the spread of the virus.