HK stages bird flu drill

October 28, 2015 5:45 am 

HONG KONG, Oct. 27 — Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department conducted on Tuesday an exercise to review its preparedness for an avian flu outbreak.

Around 100 staff, including those from the Center for Health Protection and the Civil Aid Service, practiced the procedures and biosecurity measures for a poultry cull, including the use of protective gear, and carcass disinfection and disposal.

A field command center and a mock chicken farm were set up for participants to perform frontline duties, including mobilizing staff and resources, setting up different operation areas at the index farm, and following personal biosecurity guidelines when entering and leaving the farm.

The World Organisation for Animal Health has been notified of the exercise.

Acting Secretary for Food & Health Sophia Chan and department director Leung Siu-fai watched the drill. Chan highlighted the importance of a contingency plan to ensure the department's readiness for a poultry culling, adding that avian flu outbreaks still occur in different parts of the world.

Chan noted that Hong Kong government has also stepped up surveillance before winter sets in, including surprise inspections of local poultry farms and bird pet shops, collecting more samples from wholesale poultry markets and retail outlets for tests, and combatting illegal live bird imports at boundary control points. (PNA/Xinhua)

LAM/SSC

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