US firm's imports barred after bone found in beef The government has suspended the imports of beef from Harris Ranch Beef in the US after bones were found in shipments. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said yesterday that beef from Harris Ranch made up 2.5 per cent of the 150 tonnes of beef imported from the United States since the ban on US beef was lifted on December 29. Bones and parts such as brain and spinal cord are banned to prevent the spread of mad cow disease. Only boneless beef from cattle less than 30 months old from approved centres may be imported. 162 surrender bids to poultry scheme By the end of last month retail poultry workers filed 162 applications under the government's voluntary surrender scheme, designed to prepare for a central slaughtering policy. Of these, 143 were approved, eight were being processed and 11 rejected, according to a Legco paper. Up to May 8, 13 applications were made to a similar scheme for workers from poultry farming, wholesale and transport sectors. Of these, three have been approved while 10 are being processed. Rice stockists warned The Trade and Industry Department last year issued 59 warnings to registered rice stockists who failed to maintain enough reserves. Of the 59 cases, 50 involved newcomers who joined the industry during and after 2003, said the department. Rice stockists have to maintain a reserve level of about 17 per cent of imports, enough for 15 days' consumption, to ensure a steady supply of rice in Hong Kong. Forums on culture hub The public will have a chance to voice their views on the performing arts venue to be built at the West Kowloon Cultural District. The first forum will be held at Sheung Wan Civic Centre on June 1 and the second will be at the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre in Kowloon Park on June 2.