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HK, Guangdong to discuss resuming poultry trade
Latest Updated by 2006-03-15 14:53:17
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The government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Tuesday said it would soon discuss with Guangdong Province the resumption of poultry trade, reiterating low poultry population as key to prevent bird flu.

HKSAR government representatives will visit the neighboring Guangdong Province next week to check the public health and poultry farm situation there, York Chow, secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, said Tuesday.

The authorities will decide whether to resume the trade of live poultry from Guangdong after the inspection trip.

Hong Kong, where H5N1 virus has been found only in dead wild bird bodies so far, has suspended imports of live poultry from Guangdong since a man there was confirmed of being infected with the epidemic on March 5.

The three-week-long trade suspension is part of the HKSAR government's scheme to cut down the territory's live bird population, which is expected to drop from 3 million to 2 million after local stock running out in three weeks.

The total live poultry population has to be cut to reduce the risk of an epidemic outbreak through close contact between humans and a large number of birds, Chow told the Legislative Council (LegCo) on Tuesday.

Due to the campaign to reduce live poultry population, the number of live poultry farms, wholesalers and retailers is being reduced to a desired target, said Chow.

By the end of February, 71 farmers, 12 wholesalers and one transporter have applied to cease their live poultry operations.

The authorities are also considering a plan of central slaughter house so as to cut down the risk of human infection, said Chow.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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