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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hong Kong : House crow tests positive for H5 virus

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

" Preliminary testing of a dead house crow found in Shek Kip Mei has tested positive for the H5 avian influenza virus, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (March 17), adding that further confirmatory tests are being conducted.

The dead bird was found and collected at a planter next to a petrol filling station, outside Tai Hang Tung Recreation Ground, Shek Kip Mei on March 15.

The spokesman said cleansing and disinfection has been stepped up at the venue, 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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