Chicken hawkers yesterday criticised the decision to suspend sales today as 'too hasty' after slashing prices to clear stock. The owner of the Wo Sheng Sheng Poultry Stall in Sai Wan Ho market, who gave his name as Mr Kwok, said the loss would be tremendous. 'If the Government had notified us earlier, we would not have stocked up on so many chickens,' he said, adding he only learned of the suspension at 4pm on Wednesday, shortly after taking delivery of more than 200 chickens. 'I still have about 60 left today and I don't know whether I'll be able to get rid of them. Generally, we can make a profit of about $30,000 or $40,000 at this time of the year, but in the past few days we've only been able to make a few thousand dollars. As a chicken hawker we rely on Lunar New Year sales.' The owner of the Wong Han Ji chicken stall in Quarry Bay, Ms Wong, said: 'Chickens are being sold at $18 per catty compared to the normal $20 to $21 per catty.' About 1,000 chickens at two stalls in a Tsing Yi market were culled yesterday. Rhonda Lo Yuet-yee, Assistant Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene, said: 'According to vets, the chickens in these two stalls showed unhealthy signs and their death rate has also increased.' Ms Lo said the number of chickens stored in the two stalls far exceeded the licensing requirement, and the department would consider legal action. The stall owner said: 'I don't store them, I just sell them. Do you think that I bring them here for breeding? If I think I can't sell them, I would not bring so many stock here.'