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Monday, March 19, 2012

Hong Kong : Peregrine falcon found in Lantau 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 (March 19) that a dead peregrine falcon found in Lantau was confirmed to be H5N1-positive after laboratory testing.

The bird's carcass was found and collected at 80 South Perimeter Road, Lantau, on March 12. It was decomposed when found and required a series of tests before H5N1 avian influenza was confirmed today. The peregrine falcon is a rare winter visitor to Hong Kong.

The spokesman said cleansing and disinfection has been stepped up at the area, adding that there are no poultry farms within 3 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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