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Poultry farmers ask for bird flu compensation

Poultry farmers have requested further subsidies from the government to compensate for losses resulting from the discovery of bird flu in the region, business daily Világgazdaság reported on Wednesday. Orders placed for Hungarian poultry producers, both in Hungary and for export, have dropped 15%-20% since avian flu was found in wild birds in Hungary several weeks ago, and prices have fallen 5%-6%, according to the Poultry Products Council. The council has submitted a request to the Agriculture Ministry to compensate farmers for damages caused by keeping their stock indoors - a precautionary measure to prevent them from being infected by migrating wild birds - as well as for falling prices and mounting stocks. The subsidies, affecting 10,000 tons of chicken and turkey and 2,000 tons of waterfowl, would add up to Ft 50 million-Ft 60 million a month, according to the council's calculations, council secretary László Takács said. Poultry farmers are also asking for the state to pay for 75% of wages of workers in poultry processing plants if they are laid off.