October 10, 2007


Hong Kong lifts poultry import ban as China lifts bird flu quarantine



Hong Kong announced it would fully resume imports of live poultry and birds and their products from Guangdong October 10, 2007 as China lifts its quarantine from a bird flu hit village in the province.


The Hong Kong government lifted the import suspension of live poultry and birds, day-old chicks, poultry eggs, chilled and frozen meat from a zone spanning the 24-kilometre radius of Xinzao, Panyu, as there has been no new case of bird flu there for 21 days.


Ducks in the area were found to have the virus in mid-September. Close to 10,000 ducks died from the disease while another 150,000 poultry had to be culled. About 68 markets selling poultry and related products were closed within an area of 13 kilometres.


In response, Hong Kong slapped a 21-day ban on imports of all live poultry, eggs and chilled or frozen meat from farms near the affected area.


The Food & Health Bureau said officers have since inspected the poultry farm within the affected area.


Since the outbreak the Ministry of Agriculture has sent experts and quarantine officers to cull ducks within the affected area and no new cases have been detected in the province.


Guangdong authorities have enhanced random testing of live poultry, chilled poultry meat and poultry eggs supplied to Hong Kong, and improved inspection of registered poultry farms and processing plants.


The virus has so far infected at least 25 people in China, of whom 16 died.