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SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 28, 2002 – Radio Australia)---There is confusion in Fiji over whether local chickens are safe for consumption.

This follows a directive from the Ministry of Agriculture that local chickens should not be eaten.

The government’s director of animal health and production told the Fiji Sun newspaper that the ban on local chicken consumption was issued after it was learned that some chickens had been treated with vitamins because of an outbreak of fowl cholera.

The Poultry Industry Association of Fiji has rejected the government’s concerns.

Last week, hundred of chickens were reported to have died in Nausori, just outside the capital of Suva, due to what has been proven to be fowl cholera.

Both association and government officials say the disease does not pose any threat to human health or other poultry farms in Fiji.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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