The following is issued on behalf of the Provisional Regional Council:
In response to press enquiries, a spokesman for the Regional Services Department (RSD) said that the segregation of chickens and live water birds had proved to be effective in preventing the occurrence of the H5 Influenza Virus in the retail market.
In March last year, the Provisional Regional Council (Pro RC) gazetted an amendment to the Food Business (Regional Council) Bylaws with immediate effect to help prohibit the possession for sale of live water birds at Pro RC market stalls and licensed fresh provision shops (FPS).
"The amendment is deemed successful as there has been no breaches of the law in poultry outlets," the spokesman said.
Nevertheless, he reiterated that anyone breaching the law would be prosecuted and liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for 6 months.
Members of the public are urged to report to the RSD Hotline 2414 5555 should they find such malpractice.
"To further upgrade the hygiene condition of market stalls and FPS, the Pro RC also introduced in March 1998 a set of additional requirements and conditions in market stall tenancy agreements and FPS licences respectively," the spokesman said.
Under the additional requirements and conditions, market stall lessees and FPS licensees are required to cleanse poultry cages and equipment thoroughly with hot water everyday.
In addition, FPS licensees are required to cleanse their premises thoroughly and regularly with high-pressure hot water jets not less than once every month.
In Pro RC markets, the Council also provides cleansing service to its markets thoroughly twice daily and assists the thorough cleansing of poultry stalls once monthly.
Friday, March 26, 1999