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The H5N1 virus, commonly known as bird flu, has re-appeared in poultry in Hong Kong. Officials are culling 17-thousand chickens as a precaution, in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.
Workers began culling 17,000 chickens at Hong Kong's largest wholesale poultry market on Wednesday. It comes after a dead chicken there tested positive for the deadly H5N1 avian virus, according to a government spokesman.
The Hong Kong government also suspended imports of live chickens from mainland China and the trading of live chickens for 21 days... in a bid to prevent any spread of the virus. It's normally found in birds, but can jump to humans.
It's caused quite the frustration among poultry workers.
"It's not fair. You should do the testing for live chicken only in that certain area and if you find the virus in that area then we are happy to let you kill them. But if you only pick dead chickens for testing then we don't like that idea."
The government announced the measures late on Tuesday after a dead chicken at the city's main wholesale market and two wild birds tested positive for the virus.
"We have lost around half of our business. We only have frozen chicken now, it's the only way."
People do not have immunity to the H5N1 virus and researchers worry it could mutate in humans into a form that would spread around the world and kill millions of people.
The virus passes easily among birds and has become active in various parts of the world, but especially in East Asia, over recent years, especially in the cooler months of the year.