animal-health-online®™
animal-health-online.com
  

powered by ...

Hong Kong: Peregrine falcon and black-headed gull test positive for H5 virus

Hong Kong (PR) – Preliminary testing of a dead peregrine falcon in Tung Chung and a dead black-headed gull in Yuen Long have tested positive for the H5 avian influenza virus, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (February 1), adding that further confirmatory tests are being conducted.

On January 30, the dead peregrine falcon and black-headed gull were found and collected in the park of Seaview Crescent, Man Tung Road, Tung Chung and Chun Yin Square Playground, Yuen Long respectively.

Peregrine falcons are rare winter visitors to Hong Kong, while the black-headed gull is a common visitor.

The spokesman said there were no poultry farms within three kilometres of where the dead peregrine falcon was found, but four chicken farms are within three kilometres of where the dead black-headed gull was found. AFCD staff inspected the farms and found no abnormal mortality or symptoms of avian influenza among the chicken flocks. These farms will be put under enhanced surveillance.

In view of these cases, the AFCD has phoned poultry farmers to remind them to strengthen precautionary and biosecurity measures against avian influenza. Letters have been sent to farmers, pet bird shop owners and licence holders of pet poultry and racing pigeons reminding them that proper precautions must be taken.

The spokesman said the department would conduct frequent inspections of poultry farms and the wholesale market to ensure that proper precautions against avian influenza have been implemented. The department will continue its wild bird monitoring and surveillance.

“People should avoid personal contact with wild birds and live poultry and their droppings. They should clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them. The public can call 1823 for follow-up if they come across suspicious sick or dead birds, including the carcasses of wild birds and poultry,” the spokesman said.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) will continue to be vigilant over imported live poultry as well as live poultry stalls. It will also remind stall operators to maintain good hygiene.

The Department of Health will keep up with its health education to remind the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent avian influenza.

The AFCD, the FEHD, the Customs and Excise Department and the Police will strive to deter the illegal import of poultry and birds into Hong Kong to minimise the risk of avian influenza outbreaks caused by imported poultry and birds that have not gone through inspection and quarantine.

All relevant government departments will continue to remain highly vigilant and strictly enforce preventive measures against avian influenza.

MET: 2017-10-17 08:58:34