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Friday, December 23, 2011

Hong Kong : Opening remarks by SFH on avian flu

Press release from the Centre for Health Protection, a long release but worth every second of your time to read it, excerpt :

" Following is the translation of the opening remarks by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, at a media stand-up session after attending the meeting of the Steering Committee on Avian Influenza today (December 23):

I have just convened the second meeting of the Steering Committee on Avian Influenza (AI) to take stock of follow-up actions arising from the findings of a chicken carcass sample from the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market (the Wholesale Poultry Market), which was tested positive for H5N1 AI virus on December 20. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD), the Centre for Health Protection (CHP), the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED), and the Hospital Authority.

The Food and Health Bureau (FHB) and relevant departments have been actively pursuing measures to prevent and control AI over the past few days. I would like to highlight some major developments:

First, AFCD successfully completed a culling operation at the Wholesale Poultry Market on December 21. A total of 19 451 poultry was destroyed. All 180 samples of live poultry taken by AFCD before the culling were all tested negative for H5 AI virus.

Second, AFCD completed inspections on all 30 chicken farms in Hong Kong yesterday to ensure farmers have strictly complied with bio-security and environmental hygiene requirements. No abnormality with regard to the chickens has been detected. AFCD has also tested about 900 samples collected from local farms and all were found negative for H5 AI virus, indicating normal health conditions of local chickens.

Import and local supply of live poultry are suspended for 21 days due to this incident. AFCD will carry out two more rounds of inspections on all local farms before January 12, 2012 and collect samples for AI tests. It has requested all farms to notify the department immediately of any case of sick or dead poultry. In the past few days, with the Mainland authorities' co-operation, we have stepped up inspection on chilled chickens. All 150 samples tested by the Centre for Food Safety so far are satisfactory."

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