Via The Standard: Forget mainland poultry, urges flu ace. Excerpt:
A bird flu expert says government officials should abandon their plans to resume live chicken imports from the mainland if a permanent segregation site cannot be found.
Malik Peiris, a professor at the University of Hong Kong's School of Public Health, also expressed concern over a plan to store mainland and local poultry at different times at Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Poultry Market as an interim measure.
"Unless they have a separate place to have live imports from the mainland, this idea of mixing is probably not a good idea," said Peiris, who is also acting director of HKU Public Health Laboratory Sciences. "It is quite risky."
Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man has said that it will take a year for a permanent holding site for poultry imports from the mainland to be prepared at Fu Tei Au, Sheung Shui.
In the interim, he said, one measure being considered is for local poultry to be transported to Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Market only after test results are ready for mainland poultry.
This means that local farm chickens will probably be delivered in the morning to Cheung Sha Wan and mainland batches in the evening.
"I heard from the secretary that until such time a segregation place is worked out, when the government resumes live poultry, they can send local chickens in the morning and the imported chicken in the evening to Cheung Sha Wan," Peiris said. "I think that is really quite a problem."
The risk of the H7N9 strain of bird flu in the wholesale market would remain high and there will also be increased risk of it spreading back to Hong Kong farms, he said.