A multi-million-dollar government package to compensate the poultry industry for the slaughter of 1.5 milion chickens has been rejected as inadequate. Farmers, vendors, politicians and unionists yesterday protested outside the Central Government Offices after Secretary for Economic Services Stephen Ip Shu-kwan floated the compensation deal. The detailed package will be finalised tomorrow and tabled for approval by provisional legislators on Friday. Last night, Tung Chee-hwa left his office by the rear exit to avoid about 30 demonstrators staging a marathon sit-in outside. However, the Chief Executive reportedly said the compensation would be enough to cover costs and lost profits for chicken vendors and farmers. The Goverment's proposed compensation for farmers ranges from $16 to $36 per bird, depending on size. Wholesalers will receive $30 per chicken and retailers $34. Mr Ip said chicken farmers and wholesalers could also apply for loans at two per cent interest. Chicken retailers were not eligible for the loans, but would receive a fixed lump sum of $16,000 or $28,000 ex-gratia payment. The Liberal Party's Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee questioned the logic of paying less to wholesalers and retailers: 'I can't understand the logic. Chickens at the wholesale and retail markets come from the farmers. How come the compensation for wholesalers is less?' Independent Andrew Wong Wang-fat said the Government had ignored the farmers' loss of livelihood because of the virus. The Democratic Party's Fred Li Wah-ming said the compensation package did not take care of chicken vendors operating outside government markets and had ignored staff wages. 'Some hawkers operating at private housing markets are paying $45,000 to $50,000 rent per month and all stalls have an average of four staff,' he said. 'The $16,000 ex-gratia payments won't even cover half the salaries.' Mr Ip said the Government was paying more than the law required, which was a maximum of $30 per bird.