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AFCD appeals to poultry trade to stay vigilant to prevent avian influenza

     A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) today (February 11) appealed to the various sectors of the live poultry trade to closely co-operate and stringently implement all biosecurity measures around the Lunar New Year with a view to persistently controlling the risk of avian influenza. Wholesalers should avoid overstocking of leftover chickens overnight in the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market.

     So far in February, there have been on average 22,000 live chickens available at markets daily. The number of leftover chickens in the wholesale market is about 3,400 daily.

     "The AFCD has been closely monitoring the situation of leftover chickens in the wholesale market and has stepped up biosecurity and disinfection measures in the market, including assisting wholesalers to clean their premises every day and conduct thorough disinfection in the market twice a week," the spokesman said.

     "We have also reminded local chicken farmers and wholesalers to adjust their supply in accordance with market demand to avoid overstocking of leftover chickens in the wholesale market."

     The AFCD will maintain the delivery of normal service during the Lunar New Year holidays, including the collection of samples from chickens in local farms for testing and the issue of test certificates and poultry transportation authorisations for the sale of chickens. The wholesale market will also remain open as usual during the Lunar New Year to facilitate transactions among traders.

     In addition, the Government will continue to strictly enforce the ban on overnight stocking of live chickens at retail outlets, and closely monitor the situation in the live poultry wholesale market, retail markets and farms. Relevant departments will strive to deter any smuggling of poultry, birds and poultry meat to protect public health.

     "As at today, there are about 213,000 live chickens of appropriate age (65-95 days old) in local farms available for sale in the market. Coupled with imported live chickens, it is estimated that the supply of live chickens around the Lunar New Year will remain generally stable and can meet public needs. The supply of chilled and frozen chickens has been sufficient in recent years, giving the public more choice," the spokesman added.

Ends/Thursday, February 11, 2010
Issued at HKT 17:42


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