Saturday, February 04, 2006

Household bird-keeping ban imminent

There was a time when it was quite common, on a little island in the South China Sea, for people to keep and raise chickens on their rooftops or balconies. That time is long ago gone. With the passing of the generations, such poultry keeping fell out of fashion. These days people keep their poultry in the freezer.
But, most surely, things are different in the New Territories, which has its fair share of poultry people, Arthur Daley-type second-hand car salesman, and farmers who have grown rich through filling in their rice paddies and turning the space into storage for shipping containers of uncertain origin.
Anyway, household poultry-keeping is set to be banned to reduce the risk of a bird flu outbreak in Hong Kong:
Ah, but racing pigeons may be exempted:
Within the past several weeks, dead wild birds -- a crested myna and two oriental magpie robins -- have been handed over to the authorities in Hong Kong. The three deceased tested positive for H5N1.
Several chickens in the New Territories have also now keeled over. Mind you, they were in that dodgy border area near Shataukok.
Notwithstanding, plucky Hong Kongers continue to shop.

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