Apparently, under the radical new licensing conditions in Hong Kong, only birds free from infectious diseases are allowed to be sold as food.
Strict measures are being considered by the Hong Kong authorities to stop the smuggling of birds into Hong Kong from the mainland China.
Speaking at a two-day meeting among Hong Kong, Guangdong, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Macau officials to discuss health, animal and plant quarantine and food safety controls, health chief York Chow Yat-ngok said there have been 10 cases of birds dying from the deadly H5N1 virus in the territory so far this year.
Chow said that the customs officials have been taking further steps to deal with bird smuggling as Hong Kong is now facing a bigger threat from avian flu.
To prohibit pet bird traders from selling birds of unknown sources, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has decided to introduce a number of new licensing conditions.
Thomas Sit Hon-chung, the department’s assistant director (inspection and quarantine), said the new conditions would ensure that all the birds kept on the premises of licensed animal traders were from approved sources.
The birds should either be legally imported to Hong Kong accompanied by valid health certificates or acquired from other licensed animal traders and covered by documentation, such as invoices and sale receipts, detailing the species, quantity, date of transaction and source.
“Under the new licensing rules, traders should keep valid documentations of its source and sale receipts,” Sit said.
“All birds should be transacted through legal channels.”
Under the new licensing conditions, only birds free from infectious diseases are allowed to be sold.
The above is indicative of the culture of trade, as applied under the Chinese laws.
Imagine that a country like China (HK is in fact a little better in this respect than mainland China) has to change it’s laws to stop the sale of diseased birds as food for its people!
A link to the news item from The Standard:
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