The management of food markets and abattoirs in the northern border province of Quang Ninh was tabled at a meeting on February 20 in a bid to prevent outbreaks of avian influenza.

The function heard that there are now 136 markets across Quang Ninh. Some 80 percent of slaughtered cattle and poultry are inspected to certify they are fit for consumption, yet a large proportion of meat on sale is infected with bacteria.

As many as 978 private abattoirs are dotted among residential areas and markets, most not meeting hygienic standards while the province has only three centralised abattoirs at present.

Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee Vu Thi Thu Thuy said to cope with the risks of bird flu, it is of critical importance to intensify control of live poultry, prevent and severely punish those trading smuggled poultry or selling meat of unknown origin or poor quality.

Localities also need to overhaul their market and abattoir planning, she added.

As of February 18, 11 provinces nationwide had reported 24 outbreaks, with more than 50,000 infected poultry being destroyed.-VNA