Hong Kong suspends poultry imports from China province

INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Hong Kong on Thursday suspended poultry product imports from the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning after chickens there were found to be infected with the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus.

Five dead chickens in the city of Dalian tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, according to China's agriculture ministry. The virus can be fatal to humans.

Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety said it will "closely monitor" the situation. The southern Chinese city imported about 28,000 tonnes of frozen poultry and 103 million poultry eggs from Liaoning last year.

Hong Kong culled about 17,000 chickens in December last year and suspended live poultry imports after three birds tested positive for the virus.

Hong Kong is particularly nervous about infectious diseases after an outbreak of the deadly respiratory disease SARS in 2003 killed 300 people in the city.

The city was also the site of the world's first major outbreak of bird flu among humans in 1997, when six people died.

Source : Sapa


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