The Chinese central government announced on Monday to grant subsidies of 600 million yuan (96.77 million U.S. dollars)to support the poultry industry, which has suffered from the H7N9 influenza outbreak. The money will support poultry breeders nationwide. Major poultry-processing companies will receive short-term subsidized loans and local financial institutions are encouraged to offer credit aid to breeders and companies. Latest figures from the the China Animal Agriculture Association estimated that since the H7N9 influenza outbreak the poultry industry has recorded losses of more than 40 billion yuan (6.5 billion U.S. dollars). In fear of the spread of H7N9, the Chinese government ordered the culling of poultry in some areas. It also closed live poultry markets to reduce contact with the birds, shattering demand all the way down the industry chain.