H5N1 carcass found

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 March, 2009, 12:00am

A chicken carcass found this week off Ping Chau has tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said yesterday.

The highly decomposed carcass was found floating in the sea off Kang Lau Shek on Ping Chau in the northeastern New Territories on Monday.

The carcass of a crested myna found on the island on February 12 had also tested positive for the virus.

The department said there was no poultry farm within 3km of the spot and no unauthorised poultry was being kept in the area.

Owners of pet bird shops and licence-holders for pet-poultry and racing pigeons had also been reminded to take proper precautions, a spokesman said.

The department has confirmed that 14 bird carcasses, including five chickens, four ducks, one goose and four wild birds, have been found with the H5 virus this year.

The spokesman said officials would conduct frequent inspections of poultry farms and the wholesale market to ensure precautions had been implemented.

The department said it would step up operations against the illegal importing of poultry and birds.