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Press Releases

AFCD conducts exercise to test avian influenza outbreak response
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) today (October 31) carried out an exercise to review the department's preparedness in case a poultry culling operation is required in response to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Hong Kong.

About 100 staff members of the AFCD, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health and the Civil Aid Service took part in the exercise, codenamed "Hydrangea", to familiarise themselves with the work procedures and biosecurity measures necessary for carrying out the operation, such as procedures for wearing and removing protective gear as well as the disinfection and disposal of carcasses, and to test the response plans.

A field command centre and a mock chicken farm were set up at the exercise venue for participants to carry out their front-line duties, which included mobilising staff and resources, setting up different operation areas in the mock chicken farm, and following personal biosecurity guidelines when entering and leaving the mock chicken farm.

The Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, Dr Leung Siu-fai, accompanied the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan; the Under Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Chui Tak-yi; and the Permanent Secretary for Food and Health (Food), Mrs Cherry Tse, to observe the front-line operations.

Professor Chan pointed out that avian influenza has occurred from time to time in different parts of the world, and Hong Kong should stay vigilant at all times. Therefore, such an exercise is essential to ensure that the relevant departments are prepared to execute effectively the contingency plan in case a culling operation in Hong Kong is necessary.

Professor Chan also stressed that the Government will continue to implement diligently the prevention and control measures, and urged the poultry trade and the general public to remain vigilant and help guard against avian influenza viruses.

In addition, the Government will step up surveillance before the winter season. These measures include conducting surprise inspections targeting local poultry farms and pet bird shops, the collection of more samples from the wholesale poultry market and retail outlets for tests on avian influenza, and enhanced actions to combat the illegal import of live birds at boundary control points.

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

Ends

[The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department today (October 31) carried out an exercise to review the department]

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department today (October 31) carried out an exercise to review the department's preparedness in case a poultry culling operation is required in response to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Hong Kong. Photo shows the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, Dr Leung Siu-fai (second row, second right), accompanying the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan (second row, first right), to observe the exercise.

[The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department today (October 31) carried out an exercise to review the department]

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department today (October 31) carried out an exercise to review the department's preparedness in case a poultry culling operation is required in response to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Hong Kong. Photo shows the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan (second right); the Under Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Chui Tak-yi (second left); and the Permanent Secretary for Food and Health (Food), Mrs Cherry Tse (first right), being briefed by the Assistant Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation (Inspection & Quarantine), Dr Thomas Sit (first left), on details of the exercise.

[The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department today (October 31) carried out an exercise to review the department]

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department today (October 31) carried out an exercise to review the department's preparedness in case a poultry culling operation is required in response to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Hong Kong. Photo shows staff members participating in the exercise carrying out a mock poultry culling operation.

[The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department today (October 31) carried out an exercise to review the department]

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department today (October 31) carried out an exercise to review the department's preparedness in case a poultry culling operation is required in response to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Hong Kong. Photo shows staff members undergoing thorough disinfection upon completion of a mock poultry culling operation. 

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Last Review Date : 01 November 2017