The Hong Kong Health Welfare and Food Bureau says it plans to resume the imports of live poultry, day-old chicks and pet birds from Guangdong Province this Thursday.
Live chickens will be available for sale in retail markets on July 7. The first Rest Day of the month for poultry retailers will also be moved forward from the 10th to the 6th of July.
A spokesperson for the bureau said that after evaluating the current public health situation, and under the condition that no new human cases are found and no outbreaks of avian influenza occur in Guangdong farms in the next few days, the bureau will resume imports.
He added that Hong Kong experts and veterinarians will, in the next two days, inspect the hygienic conditions at live poultry and breeder chicken farms in Guangdong and Shenzhen, which supply Hong Kong.
The quantity of live poultry imports will be the same as before. That is, the number of live chickens would be capped at 20,000 per day, and an average of 20,000 day-old chicks could be imported to Hong Kong.
The spokesperson said the first Rest Day for July is to be rescheduled to enable live poultry retailers to prepare for the resumption of imports from the mainland.
Rest Days are usually arranged on the 10th and 25th of each month for market stalls and fresh provision shops selling live poultry to suspend business and conduct thorough cleaning and disinfection.
(CRI July 5, 2006)