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Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse to resume full service from tomorrow
     A spokesman for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) said today (March 6) that after the department has been proactively co-ordinating all segments of the live pig supply chain in recent days, Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse (SSSH) could resume service tomorrow (March 7). Live pig supply is expected to return to normal level on Tuesday (March 8).

     Local and Mainland live pigs could be delivered into the slaughterhouse tomorrow at the usual time; and activities such as auction could be conducted as usual. Slaughtering services will resume around midnight Tuesday (March 8) and subsequently the supply of live pigs in the market will return to the normal level.

     The FEHD expressed gratitude to the Mainland for deploying professional and skilled personnel to come to Hong Kong to assist. It also thanked various stakeholders including the operator of SSSH and the live pig industry as they have acceded to the request of the department and discussed several times in recent days the proposals for the early reopening of the slaughterhouse, and actively implemented the relevant arrangements.   

     The spokesman explained that live pig supply chain involves many segments, apart from the China Resources Ng Fung Company Limited as a party to the contract on the slaughtering services, there are also many stakeholders such as importers, local farms, buyers and transporters. All these units are closely linked and must be in place as a whole to effect the operation. Earlier on, many units had to temporarily suspend their operation in light of serious manpower shortage caused by the epidemic. Currently, SSSH has fully completed thorough cleaning and disinfection, and assembled a working team including Mainland support personnel, while the trades, after reviewing various factors such as manpower arrangements, have also said that they could tie in with the reopening schedule of SSSH, hence the condition is ready for the supply chain to resume operation.

     The spokesman reminded that in order to safeguard the health of the practitioners of the slaughterhouses as well as the public, the Secretary for Food and Health has earlier exercised her powers under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (Cap. 599J) to issue a compulsory testing notice. From February 28, practitioners of SSSH and Tsuen Wan Slaughterhouse (TWSH) are required to undergo the specified test (polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid tests for COVID-19 using specimens taken through combined nasal and throat swabs) regularly, and will be allowed to enter the slaughterhouses only if they have the negative test result issued within the past two days of entering the slaughterhouse, and have a negative result of rapid antigen test taken within the past 24 hours for inspection. The FEHD, since February 26, has arranged for practitioners of the two slaughterhouses (including slaughterhouse staff, buyers and importers' staff) to receive the specified test, free of charge, at mobile specimen collection stations in Tsuen Wan and Sheung Shui. The FEHD will continue to distribute to all practitioners of the slaughterhouses rapid antigen test kits sufficient for their daily use.

     To tie in with the service resumption of SSSH, the FEHD has specially set up a mobile specimen collection station for all practitioners who have to enter the slaughterhouse. Practitioners could receive the specified test, free of charge, at the mobile specimen collection station in Sheung Shui from 7am to 8pm today and from 7am to 12 noon tomorrow.  

     Under the support of the Mainland, the FEHD has all along been rendering full assistance in arranging Mainland slaughterers to come to Hong Kong in order to relieve manpower pressure on the slaughterhouse. Upon arriving in Hong Kong, the Mainland support personnel immediately received the specified test arranged by the FEHD, free of charge. Afterwards, the support personnel visited SSSH and attended training organized by the slaughterhouse operator to let them familiarize themselves with the procedures and methods of slaughtering in Hong Kong, as well as to understand occupational safety and health matters. During their stay in Hong Kong, the support personnel will be subject to close loop management so as to reduce their risk of getting infected. Furthermore, the FEHD also collaborated with relevant department to render full assistance to local cross-boundary drivers who transport Mainland live pigs to fulfill the relevant requirements of the Mainland authorities.

     The FEHD thanked relevant trades for their response to the Government's appeal and increased the supply of chilled and frozen meat products during the closure of SSSH. Over the past week, the total supply of chilled meat from the Mainland was maintained at a level higher than a normal day, some 1.7 to 1.9 times Hong Kong's daily average supply from the Mainland. Separately, TWSH will continue to provide slaughtering services according to its operational circumstances.
Ends/Sunday, March 6, 2022
Issued at HKT 23:20
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