, BEIJING, Jun 14 – The government has granted subsidies of 300 million yuan ($48.54 million) to prop up the poultry sector as it struggles in the wake of the H7N9 bird flu virus, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.
The subsidies will be used to help poultry breeders stay in business, ensure their productivity and stabilize market supplies of poultry products, according to the ministry.
The latest figures from the China Animal Agriculture Association indicate that the industry has recorded losses of more than 40 billion yuan since the H7N9 influenza outbreak occurred in March.
To ease the burden that the outbreak has placed on poultry breeders, the central government has joined hands with local governments to offer help.
In May, the central government allocated subsidies of 600 million yuan to major poultry processing companies and breeders nationwide to stabilize the industry.
In addition to the subsidies from the central government, 10 provinces, including Henan, Shandong and Guangdong, have issued beneficial policies to aid poultry breeders.
In order to prevent the spread of the H7N9 virus, the government had ordered the culling of poultry in some areas since March.
It had also closed live poultry markets in order to reduce human contact with birds.