3rd July 2006, HONG KONG: The import of live poultry, day-old chicks and pet birds from Guangdong will resume July 6, the Health, Welfare & Food Bureau says.
After evaluating the public health situation, including the confirmation that no new human case is found and no outbreak of avian influenza has occurred in the farms in Guangdong in the last few days, import arrangements will be restarted. Live chickens will be available for sale in retail markets on July 7.
Hong Kong experts and veterinarians will, in the next two days, inspect the hygienic condition of live poultry and breeder chicken farms in Guangdong and Shenzhen which supply Hong Kong. The quantity of live poultry imports upon resumption will be the same as before, that is, the ceiling of live chicken imports will be capped at 20,000 a day and an average of 20,000 day-old chicks can be imported to Hong Kong daily.
Rest day advanced
Meanwhile, the first rest day for live poultry retailers in July will be advanced to July 6. The move will enable live poultry retailers to prepare for the resumption of live poultry imports from the Mainland.
Live poultry outlets will not be allowed to conduct business from noon on July 6 until the next morning for thorough cleaning and disinfection. Retailers must strictly observe the rest day conditions. They should not remove any unsold live poultry from their premises to avoid slaughtering them before the start of the rest day.
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department staff will inspect poultry outlets. Failure to comply with rest day conditions will lead to immediate cancellation of fresh provision shop licences or termination of market stall tenancies.
As a precaution, Hong Kong decided to suspend the import of live poultry, day-old chicks and pet birds from the Mainland for 21 days from June 16 after a confirmed H5N1 human case in Shenzhen on June 15.