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Temporary closure of Aviary Pagoda in Yuen Long Park

     Following the discovery of avian flu in a chicken farm in Yuen Long, the Aviary Pagoda in Yuen Long Park, which is within a radius of three kilometres of the affected chicken farm, has been closed immediately until further notice in accordance with the guideline issued by the Food and Hygiene Bureau, a spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) announced today (December 9).

     Notices will be put up to inform park visitors of the arrangements.

     The department's Senior Veterinary Officer and staff have been keeping a close watch over the health condition of some 1,500 birds kept in the aviaries in four parks, namely Hong Kong Park, Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Kowloon Park and Yuen Long Park.

     "The birds we keep are healthy and not a single case of infection has been detected. The temporary closure of Yuen Long Park’s Aviary Pagoda is purely precautionary," the spokesman said.

     "We have increased the frequency of cleaning the aviaries to three times a day to maintain a high level of hygiene. We have also reminded our staff to strictly follow the guidelines when cleaning bird droppings and handling dead birds found in our venues," he added.

     Signs have been put up at all LCSD venues where there are bird collections or wild birds congregate to remind the public not to touch the birds or their droppings.

     As a health precaution, the publics are urged not to feed wild birds at LCSD venues.

     "It is an offence to feed or attempt to feed any birds at LCSD venues. The department will step up prosecutions against anyone found doing so," the spokesman stressed.

Ends/Tuesday, December 9, 2008

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