The Chinese mainland resumed its exports of live poultry to Macao Special Administrative Region of The People's Republic of China with a shipment of 3,500 chickens on Friday, about a month after they were suspended in the effort to contain the H5N1 strain of bird flu.
The poultry shipments, worth US$8,750, were from three registered chicken farms in Zhuhai, a special economic zone bordering the Macao Special Administrative Region, said a customs spokesman.
Before the exports, a strict quarantine of poultry was carried out by local customs, departments of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine.
Three registered poultry farms in Zhuhai and nine poultry processing plants in Guangdong Province have been designated to supply Macao Special Administrative Region, according to a circular issued by the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued on Thursday.
The circular required all related quarantine departments to strictly quarantine the live chickens and poultry products from the farms and processing plants.
The vehicles and transfer storage houses should also be properly disinfected to avoid any possible infection, the circular said.
The mainland's poultry exports to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and Macao Special Administrative Region of The People's Republic of China were suspended after cases of avian influenza were reported in January. No cases of human infection had been found on the China and none of the 350 registered poultry exporters supplying Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions were affected, sources said.
Before the avian influenza outbreak, Macao Special Administrative Region had depended on an average daily imports of 8,000 to 10,000 live chickens from the mainland, some 70 percent of which came from Zhuhai.
The related authorities of the Chinese mainland have lifted the quarantine orders on 42 bird flu-affected areas where the disease has been eradicated since Feb. 22 when they removed the isolation order on the first affected area in the southwestern autonomous region of Guangxi.
The Ministry of Agriculture said no cases of suspected bird flu had been reported anywhere on the mainland for 18 consecutive days since Feb. 17.
(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2004)