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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hong Kong : Oriental magpie robin tests positive for H5 virus

From Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" A dead Oriental magpie robin found in Cheung Chau has tested positive for the H5 avian influenza virus in preliminary testing, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (February 29), adding that further confirmatory tests are being conducted.

The dead bird was found and collected at 80 Hok Loo Lane, Cheung Chau, on February 27. The Oriental magpie robin is a common resident bird in Hong Kong.

The spokesman said cleansing and disinfection has been stepped up in the area, adding that there are no poultry farms within three kilometres of where the dead bird was found.

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.

The spokesman said the department would conduct frequent inspections of poultry farms and the wholesale market to ensure that proper precautions against avian influenza have been implemented. The department will continue its wild bird monitoring and surveillance."

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