Cheung Sha Wan market will stage one-day action to push for more imports Police will be on alert today at the Cheung Sha Wan Poultry wholesale market, where vendors are planning a one-day ban on live chicken purchases to show dissatisfaction over limited imports into Hong Kong. Representatives of poultry vendors were due to gather at the market at 5am, to try to convince their colleagues to support the one-day boycott. Retail stalls, however, will continue to sell any remaining stocks from yesterday. Vendors, wholesalers and delivery workers, who have all suffered losses since the import quota of live chickens was reduced from 30,000 to 20,000 last month, threatened more action if the government did not resume normal supply. But Deputy Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Eddy Chan Yuk-tak said the restriction of 20,000 chickens daily from the mainland would continue as it was a 'valid and useful measure' against bird flu. 'At the moment we are still in the middle of outbreaks of avian influenza so we must be very careful in ensuring public health,' Mr Chan said, appealing to the poultry industry to remain calm and to bear in mind the interests of the community. The chairman of the Hong Kong Live Poultry Wholesalers' Association, Tsui Ming-tuen, who will still place an order with the mainland for poultry today, said chickens could die after being crammed in a cage in heat for a whole day. 'Basically [we and the retailers] are fighting for the same thing, but they prefer to boycott us rather than giving up their sales, and now they are even persuading others to join them, I have my losses as well, I feel so helpless.' Police Tactical Unit and anti-triad officers will be deployed at the market to monitor the situation. Mr Tsui, who is also fighting to lift the restriction, will lobby others to protest in Central on Tuesday, while poultry delivery workers threatened a slow-drive rally. But both parties are still working out the details with the police. Chicken vendor Wong Wai-chuen, who organised the ban, said business had dropped by almost 30 per cent since the reduction of the import quota on March 7. Wholesale prices have rocketed from $10 per catty (0.67kg) to $19 a catty over the past month, pushing up the retail price from $28 to $34 per catty, he said. Wong Tak-leung, chairman of a poultry transport association, also complained about a shrinking income. 'Our monthly income has almost shrunk by half from $7,000 to $4,000 a month, but everything has increased in price: car park rents, fuel costs, how are we going to survive?' The problem has also worsened because local chicken farmers have reduced their supply following the ban on imports of day-old chickens.