December 29, 2023
HONG KONG – Hong Kong authorities are advising members of the public to avoid contact with wild birds after laboratory tests confirmed two avian influenza cases detected at the Hong Kong Wetland Park in Tin Shui Wai.
A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the carcasses of a pin-tailed snipe and a Eurasian teal found in a mudflat at the park on Dec 21 tested positive for the H5N1 virus.
The owners of a chicken farm within 3 kilometers of the park were also informed about the dead birds. So far, the farm has detected no abnormal deaths or avian flu symptoms among its poultry
“People should avoid personal contact with wild birds and live poultry and their droppings. They should clean their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with them,” the spokesman said in a statement.
He said cleaning and disinfection were stepped up at the location where the carcasses were found while the owners of a chicken farm within 3 kilometers of the park were also informed about the dead birds. So far, the farm has detected no abnormal deaths or avian flu symptoms among its poultry.
The AFCD reminded poultry farmers to strengthen precautionary and biosecurity measures against bird flu while pet bird shop owners and license holders of bird exhibitions will also be reminded to take precautions.
The spokesman said that the department will closely monitor poultry farms and the wholesale market to ensure that proper precautions against bird flu have been taken.
“The public can call 1823 for AFCD’s follow-up if they come across birds suspected to be sick or dead, including the carcasses of wild birds and poultry,” he added.
The AFCD, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the Customs and Excise Department and the police will strive to deter the illegal importation of poultry and birds into Hong Kong to minimize the risk of bird flu outbreaks.