The additional daily supply of 10,000 chickens from Chinese mainland will be extended from three to five days from June 18 to 22, Hong Kong Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Yeoh Eng-kiong said Friday.
The move came after the government reviewed the additional chicken import arrangement Friday, taking into account smooth operations and the surge in demand for live chickens on the Dragon-Boat festival which falls on June 22.
To ensure public safety will not be compromised, Yeoh said departments have increased manpower, to cope with enhanced inspection and quarantine arrangements, and laboratory capacity to cater for the additional samples taken for testing.
Poultry retailers have agreed to cooperate to ensure compliance with all hygienic conditions. They envisage good sales and expect there will be no unduly accumulated stock of live chickens in wet markets in the lead-up to the festival.
The exceptional arrangement will end after June 22 and revert to the current level of 30,000 live chickens per day.
(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2004)