January 28, 2004



Hong Kong Bans Chicken Imports From Indonesia, Pakistan and Laos


Hong Kong government announced on Tuesday the ban of live birds or poultry meat imports from Indonesia, Pakistan and Laos after bird flu surfaced in these countries.


A spokesman for the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau said it is a "precautionary measure" in view of the suspected bird flu situation in these countries.


With the confirmation of H5 avian influenza outbreaks in Thailand and Cambodia, Hong Kong has earlier temporarily suspended the importation of live birds and poultry meat from these two countries.


Yeoh Eng-kiong, secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, who is to head for Thailand to attend an international meeting on bird flu prevention, said that Hong Kong government will step up surveillance and watch out for any possible mutation of the virus to make sure that the vaccination program continues to be effective.


Hong Kong has taken a three-pronged approach - strengthened biosecurity in farms, implementation of a vaccination program, andregular cleaning of wholesale and retail markets - to prevent avian flu.


These measures have been effective so far in preventing the outbreak in Hong Kong, while the city is still on high alert for the disease.

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