The health chief has urged chicken farmers to take a 'pragmatic and realistic' approach to negotiations on compensation for giving up their businesses, saying they are unlikely to be given more bargaining room before the September 24 deadline. Speaking on radio programmes yesterday, Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat-ngok said the chicken farmers' demand for compensation of HK$45 million for surrendering their licences - triple the government's offer of up to HK$15 million - was a 'fantasy'. Describing the government's offer as 'very generous' after one of the broadcasts, Dr Chow said farmers would have to provide details to justify any additional demands. He said the government's compensation calculations were based on the replacement cost for all their facilities and equipment. The Executive Council approved a HK$1.1 billion compensation package on Tuesday in an attempt to reduce the risk of a bird flu outbreak in Hong Kong. It also gave the go-ahead for the resumption of live-chicken sales next Wednesday but said traders in wet markets would be required to kill all unsold chickens at the end of each business day. Dr Chow said the possibility of human cases of bird flu would become 'nearly zero' if live chicken sales were banned, because most previous human cases resulted from contacts with sick birds. Speaking ahead of the Tripartite Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases in Macau, Centre for Health Protection controller Thomas Tsang Ho-fai said there had been no confirmed cases of human infection in Hong Kong since the outbreak of bird flu on June 6. 'It means we are quite safe and we've passed that dangerous period.'