Next HK rest day set for February 20
The Food & Environmental Hygiene Department
has declared February 20 the next poultry rest day.
Market stalls and fresh provision shops selling live poultry must suspend
business for thorough cleaning and disinfection.
To reduce the risk of avian influenza, the rest day has been advanced to
the third day of the Lunar New Year so that cleaning can be done immediately
after festive days.
Since the 1997 outbreak, when Hong Kong authorities' citywide slaughter of
1.4 million chickens was largely credited with stopping the flu's spread, the
government has instituted several preventive measures: increased testing of
imported chickens, segregating live waterfowl from other poultry at markets and
enforcing a monthly market "rest day" to disinfect cages.
Poultry retailers must observe rest-day conditions and ensure that all live
poultry remaining in their stalls or shops are slaughtered before the rest day.
Stall owners and licensees must not remove any unsold live poultry from their
premises to avoid slaughtering them before the start of the rest day.
The department will inspect poultry outlets on the rest day. Failure to
comply with the rest-day conditions will lead to immediate cancellation of
fresh-provision shop licences or termination of market-stall tenancies.
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