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Temporary closure of aviaries at four LCSD parks

The aviaries at four parks managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will be temporarily closed from tomorrow as a precautionary measure against the possible spread of avian influenza, a spokesman for the department said today (February 1).

The walk-in aviaries in Hong Kong Park and Yuen Long Park will be closed, while the aviaries within enclosed areas at the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens and Kowloon Park will be cordoned off. 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 four parks.

"The birds we keep are healthy and not a single case of infection has been detected. The temporary closure 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 public 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 said.

Ends/Wednesday, February 1, 2006

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