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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hong Kong : Oriental magpie robin tests positive for H5N1 virus

Press release from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (February 14) that a dead Oriental magpie robin found in Yuen Long was confirmed to be H5N1 positive after laboratory testing.

The bird's carcass was found and collected at the rooftop of No 14, Lane 2, Tung Tau Wai San Tsuen, Wang Chau, Yuen Long on February 7. It was decomposed when found and required a series of tests before H5N1 avian influenza was confirmed today. The Oriental magpie robin is a common resident bird in Hong Kong.

The spokesman said that three chicken farms are within 3 kilometres of where the bird was found. AFCD staff inspected the farms and found no abnormal mortality or symptoms of avian influenza among the chicken flocks. The farms will be put under enhanced surveillance.

In view of the case, the AFCD has phoned poultry farmers to remind them to strengthen precautionary and biosecurity measures against avian influenza. Letters have been issued to farmers, pet bird shop owners and licence holders of pet poultry and racing pigeons reminding them that proper precautions must be taken."

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