April 7, 2004



Hong Kong Set To Resume Live Poultry Imports From China

Hong Kong's Health, Welfare and Food Bureau said Tuesday that given the bird flu outbreak situation in the Chinese mainland is now under control and surveillance has been stepped up, the bureau is considering resuming the importation of live poultry from the mainland.


A bureau spokesman said if the situation remains stable, the authorities in the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will continue to explore a mutually acceptable date for live poultry to be imported by stages on a pilot basis.


"For the importation of day-old chickens from the Chinese mainland, it is expected to resume at about the same time when the importation of Chinese mainland live poultry is resumed subject to availability," the spokesman added.


The administration would work out the detailed arrangements with the relevant mainland authorities and make a formal announcement as soon as possible, he said.


In a related development, officers of Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department have recently visited several Chinese mainland registered farms supplying live poultry to Hong Kong, said the spokesman.


He noted that the registered farms had adopted the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the occurrence of avian influenza and instituted appropriate surveillance programs to detect the presence of the H5N1 virus.


Permanent Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Carrie Yau met with officials of the State General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in Beijing Monday to discuss various requirements for import control, and the necessary preparatory work for the resumption of importation of live poultry from the Chinese mainland.