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Poultry Product Council: all poultry safe to eat

Hungary's stock of domestic poultry remains completely free of infection from avian flu, the Poultry Product Council announced on Friday. All cases of the H5N1 virus in Hungary have been found in wild birds, and in these cases, the authorities quarantined the area where the birds were discovered. The council noted that Hungary's health authorities have deemed all products marked “verified Hungarian poultry” safe to consume.

Poultry sales have dropped 15%-20% in Hungary since the discovery of wild birds with the virus, resulting in losses of hundreds of millions of forints for farmers and processors. In 2005, Hungary's poultry industry was worth about Ft 225 billion, of which sales of meat accounted for about Ft 190 billion and sales of eggs for the rest. The industry contracted about 5% in 2005, as farmers produced less and prices fell. Revenue from exports fell about 15% to $420 million.