Adele Wong

Friday, December 12, 2008

The avian flu virus found in a Yuen Long chicken farm is the deadly H5N1 strain, the government has confirmed.

Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat-ngok also said it may not be a coincidence that the two recent H5N1 outbreaks in the territory occurred just before traditional celebrations.

Chow urged those in the poultry trade to report any suspected illegal activity that might have been the cause of the outbreaks.

“We have reminded and sent letters to the trade and recommended that if they see any unlawful activity such as the smuggling of chickens and so on they should report to us,” said Chow, adding that, so far, the government does not have any evidence of such activity.

The owner of the farm where the latest outbreak occurred, New Territories Chicken Breeders Association chairman Wong Yee-chuen, strongly denied allegations of smuggling.

Chow confirmed testing is being conducted in other farms, with all results coming out negative so far.