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Overnight Live Poultry Retail Outlawed in Hong Kong

by 5m Editor
27 June 2008, at 8:22am

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government gazetted Friday the Food Business Regulation 2008 which requires no live poultry be kept at retail outlets overnight to protect public health and further reduce the risk posed by avian flu.

The new legislation provides that all people permitted by the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene of Hong Kong to sell live poultry by retail, including public market stalls and fresh provision shops selling live poultry, must slaughter any live poultry remaining in their stalls or shops by 8 p.m. every day. Live poultry will not be allowed at such premises from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day.

Offenders could have their permission revoked, and be subject to a maximum penalty of 50,000 HK dollars (about 6,410 U.S. dollars) and six months of imprisonment.

On top of no overnight stocking of live poultry at retail outlets, retailers are also required to thoroughly cleanse and disinfect the retail premises every night and strictly adhere to existing measures such as wearing protective gear. Not observing these requirements will result in cancellation of the license or tenancy.

Elaborating on the legislative amendment, a spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau of Hong Kong said there was an imperative need to enhance the ability to arrest any possible spread of avian flu in Hong Kong in future, thereby reducing the risks of human infection of avian influenza.

Past experience has shown that the principal mode of transmission of the avian flu virus from poultry to human is through contact with live poultry or their faeces. The most effective way to minimize the health risk posed by avian flu was to reduce as much as possible the contact between human and live poultry, the spokesman said.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

5m Editor