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Hong Kong acts to prevent bird flu
www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-07 00:22:31

    HONG KONG, July 6 (Xinhuanet) -- To prevent migratory birds that may harbor avian influenza virus from spreading the virus in poultry farms, Hong Kong's poultry farms have all installed bird-proof facilities, a local health official said Wednesday.

    Hong Kong Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow said at a Legislative Council meeting that Hong Kong poultry has been vaccinated to reduce the risk of contracting avian influenza viruses from migratory birds.

    To prevent humans from contracting the virus, the government has focused on public education, he said, adding during the annual peak season for migratory birds, staff members of Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department would keep a close eye on the migratory birds congregating in Hong Kong.

    Chow said the government would also step up publicity and education efforts, such as putting up posters and notices at the entrance and visitor centers of Mai Po and Hong Kong Wetland Park to remind people of avoiding direct contact with wild birds, their feathers or droppings.

    He said that on the webpage about prevention of avian influenza, people are also advised to avoid contact with birds and poultry as well as their droppings, avoid going to bird parks and farms, and refrain from feeding pigeons in parks.

    Chow believed that with these measures of the government and the cooperation of the public, the risk of avian influenza spread by migratory birds and being contracted by humans may be minimized.

    At present, some 100,000 migratory birds winter at or pass through Mai Po wetland park every year, of which most are water-birds. Enditem

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