H5 found on Japanese White-eye and House Crow 港相思家鴉驗出H5

H5 found on Japanese White-eye and House Crow 港相思家鴉驗出H5

19/1/07 明報 Mingpao

Following a Spotted Munia at Causeway Bay and a Crested Goshawk at Shek Kip Mei,  AFCD found that a Japanese White-eye at San Po Kong and a House Crow at Lai On Estate also tested positive for the H5 virus. HF Cheung, Chairman of HKBWS, warned that they are probably related to the sale and release of sick birds because the sites fanned out from the Bird Garden at Mong Kok towards the hills to the north of Kowloon.  He urged the government to temporarily ban the import of munias to curb the spread.




Why just munias? It cannot only be munias that fall victim.

Why not all imported cage birds?

Geoff Carey


Bird Flu & the Cage Bird Trade

Dear All

I respectfully suggest that Dr Cheung Ho-fai's comment, assuming that he was quoted correctly, does not go  far enough in pushing for a ban for conservation, human and bird health and animal welfare reasons.

I believe that we should be pushing for a permanent ban on the wild bird trade in Hong Kong - I have copied an email which I received from Professor Richard Corlett today on this issue. Please take time to read it.

Best regards

Mike Leven

Richard Corlett's email follows:

Dear All,

I am talking to the Centre for Health Protection's Scientific
Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases next Wednesday about
religious bird release. My main message will be that the half-million
or more birds imported and released every year are the most likely
origin of the urban H5N1 outbreaks in January-March 2006 and in 2007.
The species involved are either ones released in large numbers or
species that would predate or scavenge dead or dying birds. If anyone
thinks "most likely" is too strong, please could you provide more
likely alternatives within the next few days!

Talking to reporters over the last couple of days, I have the
impression that - while we all agree that importing huge numbers of
birds under dreadful conditions to release into unfamiliar
environments is a bad thing - we are giving out mixed messages on
what ought to be done about it. I would like to suggest that we all
agree on the EU's solution, i.e. a permanent ban on the import of
wild-caught birds, with all captive-bred birds required to be fitted
with unique, traceable closed rings or microchips. If this was done
after consultation, and with perhaps a 1-year grace period, it should
cause nobody any hardship. Hong Kong can do without HK$4 birds.

It would only impact the high-volume low-profit-margin end of the
bird trade, since many of the most popular cage-birds are already
captive-bred and the parrots, at least, have numbered rings. The
massive improvement in bird welfare should please the Buddhists and -
I hope - they would have second thoughts about releasing more
expensive birds of obvious captive origin. I cannot see Beijing
or  Guangzhou objecting, since much of the current trade is illegal
or barely legal under a variety of local and national laws.

Would WWF, TRAFFIC, HKBWS and/or KFBG be interested in drafting a
formal proposal on this that we could then all sign?

Feel free to pass this around, but please don't reply to everybody
unselectively since it just clogs people's mailboxes.

Best wishes,


Department of Ecology & Biodiversity
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Road