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HK continues import ban on game civet cats

     The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (March 21) reminded the public that the import of game masked palm civets (also known as Himalayan palm civets or gem-faced civets, or commonly referred to as civet cats) is prohibited.

     A spokesman for the CFS said that the import ban on masked palm civets was introduced as a precautionary measure after the outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003 by the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene.

     The spokesman said, "The Government has remained vigilant ever since. We see no justification for relaxing the control."

     He pointed out that the import ban would also extend to bats due to the public health threat from novel coronavirus.

     No application for importing of the above products had been received over the past decade.

     He called on members of the public to exercise caution when contacting, handling or eating wild animals to minimise the risk of zoonotic diseases.   

     "We will closely monitor the situation and remain vigilant on the latest developments," the spokesman added.

Ends/Thursday, March 21, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:01


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