Poultry sector asks for help

Consumer fears linked to bird flu have caused one in two Greeks to cut poultry out of their diet completely, according to poultry breeders who yesterday appealed for state intervention to keep their industry afloat. «One in two Greeks does not eat poultry,» Association of Greek Poultry Breeders President Dimitrios Leivaditis said after a meeting in Athens yesterday. Stressing that chicken sales are half those they were last year, he appealed to the government to implement measures to help producers weather the crisis. «The Greek poultry sector will not survive the summer if measures are not taken immediately,» he said. Proposed measures include the creation of a team of experts to draft a recovery strategy for the sector, the paying out of compensation to cover farmers’ losses, an extension on credit guarantees and tax breaks. Breeders accused European governments of putting off consumers by issuing «vague» messages about the safety of chicken, which has not been linked to bird flu in Greece.