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2 More Dead Birds Tested Positive for H5 Virus in HK
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Preliminary testing of two dead birds collected in Kowloon has indicated suspected cases of H5 avian influenza, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) of Hong Kong said here Thursday, adding that further tests are being conducted.

One of them was a dead White-eye collected by AFCD staff on Convair Drive, San Po Kong on Jan. 15 after being alerted by the public.

The other involved a dead House Crow collected by AFCD staff from Lai On Estate, Sham Shui Po on Jan. 16 upon referral from the Housing Department.

The White-eyed is a common resident bird in Hong Kong but the House Crow is an exotic species.

"We have been actively monitoring the population of House Crows and will continue to deploy effective measures to reduce their number," the spokesman said.

In 2006, 150 eggs and chicks of House Crows were removed and some 90 individuals were collected by anesthetic baiting. With the implementation of these measures, the local house crow population has stabilized at about 250.

The spokesman said the AFCD had stepped up cleansing the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market and letters have been issued to poultry farmers reminding them to maintain precautions against avian influenza.

(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2007)

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