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Mainland live poultry supply to resume progressively starting from tomorrow

     The Food and Health Bureau today (September 3) received notification from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine that supply of live poultry from the Mainland to Hong Kong will resume progressively starting from tomorrow. It is expected that about 500 live pigeons will be imported to Hong Kong on the first day, and the supply of live chickens will be resumed afterwards.

     A spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau said, "All live poultry supplying to Hong Kong have been put under quarantine for five days and passed both Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and serology test for avian influenza (AI) before leaving the farm, showing that they carry sufficient level of antibodies against H5 and are free of any AI virus (including H5 and H7 subtypes) or any AI clinical symptoms. They are equipped with health certificates issued by the relevant inspection and quarantine authorities on the Mainland for supply to Hong Kong."

     "We will continue to adopt the established inspection and quarantine measures. We will collect tissue and blood samples from the live poultry at the Man Kam To Control Point for doing H5 and H7 AI virus PCR test and serology test to further reduce the risk of infected poultry entering our retail markets."

     The spokesman added that the Government will continue to implement stringent surveillance and control measures for AI to safeguard public health.

     On January 27, 2014, H7 AI viruses were detected in an imported consignment of live poultry. In response to suggestions by members of the public in Hong Kong, Legislative Council members as well as stakeholders in the local poultry trade, and without prejudice to the protection of public health, the Government agreed to look into practical arrangements that would help avoid causing disruption to the operation of the live poultry trade and the continued supply of live poultry in Hong Kong in case of detection of H7 AI virus in imported live poultry in future. Since it would take time to work out and put in place the suitable arrangement, the Government decided on February 19 (when the wholesale poultry market resumed operation) to continue suspension of the import of live poultry from the Mainland for around four months. Subsequently, Hong Kong and the Mainland held discussions on the inspection and quarantine measures for live poultry supplying to Hong Kong. Both sides have reached consensus that the current inspection and quarantine arrangements as well as the various AI prevention and control measures will continue while the supply of Mainland live poultry to Hong Kong will be resumed.

Ends/Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Issued at HKT 22:24


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