New HK law forbids overnight stocking of live chicken

27-06-2008 | | |
New HK law forbids overnight stocking of live chicken

In contrary to previous outcomes of negotiations between retailers and the Hong Kong government live chickens can only be sold during the day. Overnight stocking is forbidden.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government decided that as of 2 July no live poultry be kept at retail outlets overnight to protect public health and further reduce the risk posed by avian flu.

The new legislation provides that all people permitted by the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene of Hong Kong to sell live poultry by retail, including public market stalls and fresh provision shops selling live poultry, must slaughter any live poultry remaining in their stalls or shops by 8 p.m. every day. Live poultry will not be allowed at such premises from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day.

Earlier this week retailers were hopeful of being able to stock live poultry overnight again.

High fine for offenders
Offenders could have their permission revoked, and be subject to a maximum penalty of 50,000 HK dollars (about UD$6,410) and six months of imprisonment.

On top of no overnight stocking of live poultry at retail outlets, retailers are also required to thoroughly cleanse and disinfect the retail premises every night and strictly adhere to existing measures such as wearing protective gear. Not observing these requirements will result in cancellation of the license or tenancy.

Elaborating on the legislative amendment, a spokesman for the Food and Health Bureau of Hong Kong said there was an imperative need to enhance the ability to arrest any possible spread of avian flu in Hong Kong in future, thereby reducing the risks of human infection of avian influenza.

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