Cull halts HK live-chicken supplies after H5N1 found
Hong Kong will have no live-chicken supplies for three weeks, with the government to cull 17,000 chickens in the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market today after a chicken found dead there was confirmed to have the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain.
The suspension means people will not be able to buy live chicken for their winter solstice dinners tomorrow. The market, which sells birds raised locally and on the mainland, would be closed until January 12 for disinfection, Secretary for Food and Health Dr York Chow Yat-ngok said last night. Government inspections and viral tests will be strengthened and officials are tracing the origin of the H5N1 strain in the dead bird.
Chow said Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department workers had inspected all 30 local chicken farms and found nothing suspicious.
Operators of stalls selling live chickens will be required to clean and disinfect them during the suspension.