Wong (right) and a team of councillors visit Sibujaya wet market following complaints that live chicken are being sold.
SIBU (March 23): Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) is advising livestock hawkers in Sibujaya wet market to wrap up their live chicken as keeping them in cages is prohibited.
SRDC deputy chairman Wong Ching Yong pointed out that the practice of keeping the livestock in cages also contravened the council’s health rules and regulations.
He gave this advice while visiting the wet market with a team of councillors on Monday, prompted by complaints from the public that live chicken were being sold there.
“The public complainants were very worried about the possibility of bird flu via the chicken manure.
“Upon discussion with the hawkers, I advised the livestock hawkers to wrap up the livestock and that keeping them in cages is prohibited.
“The hawkers informed me that they are happy to follow the suggestion and will comply with the public health guidelines of SRDC,” Wong said in a statement yesterday.
For decades the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) had made it compulsory for live chicken to be wrapped up in markets.
Wong noted that this policy was initiated by Datuk Dr Soon Choon Teck, former Dudong state assemblyman cum Assistant Minister of Public Health, who was then chairman of the public health committee of SMC in early 1980s.
Datuk Dr Soon Choon Teck recalled: “In the 70s, the live chickens were kept in cages in the market. The excreta would just drop onto the floor which would be washed down to the drains and then to the Lembangan River.
“So, SMC decided to stop hawkers to sell live chickens like in Kuching. But there was a big demand for live chickens especially during the Gawai Dayak celebration.
“So, I came up with the idea of wrapping the chicken in newspapers and, if they passed the excreta, it wouldn’t dirty the floors. The policy had proved to be a solution for the live chickens issue.”