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Chinese Poultry Exports Resume to Hong Kong

12 February 2015

CHINA - Hong Kong has restored poultry imports from mainland China in time for the New Year holiday.

Over 2,000 live chickens and doves raised in the Chinese mainland were shipped to Hong Kong for sale at wet markets on Wednesday, ending an import suspension imposed after birds in Hong Kong were found infected with bird flu in January.

According to official sources in China, the special administrative region culled around 15,000 chickens at a poultry market last month, and its authorities suspended imports from the Chinese mainland for three weeks.

The ban was lifted on 10 February.

Winter and spring are a high-incidence period for bird flu. Thousands of chickens have been culled this year in south China's Guangdong Province, which borders Hong Kong.

There have been 44 confirmed cases of H7N9 human infection in Guangdong this year, including one reported on Tuesday. Shanghai, Fujian, Jiangxi and Zhejiang in east China all reported cases this winter.

Officials with the inspection and quarantine bureau for Shenzhen, the Guangdong city closest to Hong Hong, said they have stepped up inspections and dispatched specialist workers for on-site quarantining, as Hong Kong consumers' demand for poultry is set to surge during the coming Lunar New Year.

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