#4050
imported_Martin
Participant

Press release from Hong Kong Birdwatching Society includes:

Quote:
Echoing sentiments expressed by leading virologists Professor John Oxford from the UK and the Dr Robert Webster from the United States (appendix A), Hong Kong-based microbiologist Professor Malik Peiris said that the 500,000+ wild bird trade into Hong was the most likely source of the H5N1-infected wild birds that were being repeatedly detected in Hong Kong:

“Recognizing that the natural habitats of many of these infected birds is not urban, and that the Chestnut Munia in particular no longer occurs in the wild in Hong Kong in any habitat, there is no other logical explanation for the presence of H5N1 in birds found in these highly urbanized locations. Given that such infected birds pose a threat to the poultry industry and to human health, more stringent and effective regulation or an outright ban on the trade of wild birds seems a sensible precaution,” said Professor Peiris.

The Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS) called on the Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Dr York Chow and the Centre for Health Protection to recognize the wild bird trade and religious releases as an important source of H5N1 introduction into Hong Kong, and to close this route for human infection by banning the trade.

“Government data shows that the most feared case for a new pandemic – H5N1 – is being found weekly in Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po and Happy Valley – some of the most densely populated areas on Earth,” said Mike Kilburn, Vice Chairman of HKBWS. “Munias and mesias – non-migratory birds commonly sold for religious release, have been clearly identified as carriers of the virus.”

You can read the release – and see map with “wild bird” cases in Hong Kong last year and this – at:
Bird Trade Bringing H5N1 to Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po & Happy Valley
Global H5N1 Experts & Hong Kong Bird Watching Society Calls for Ban