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·         Three-day suspension of live pig supplies unlikely to affect Hongkongers over Lunar New Year holiday

No pigs will be slaughtered during the first three days of Lunar New Year as authorities clean Hong Kong’s three abattoirs

 

·         Hong Kong's wild boar dilemma in the Chinese New Year of the Pig

… "Most Hong Kong wild boars, at this point, have already lost their fear of humans", said Roni Wong, a member of a community group campaigning for the protection of wild boars…

 

 

Three-day suspension of live pig supplies unlikely to affect Hongkongers over Lunar New Year holiday

 

    No pigs will be slaughtered during the first three days of Lunar New Year as authorities clean Hong Kong’s three abattoirs

    Changing customs in recent times and number of businesses closing mean pork consumption generally falls over holiday period

 

Rachel Leung, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

04 February, 2019

 

Pigs may be taking centre stage this Lunar New Year, but some people in Hong Kong are steering clear of pork dishes during the festivities for the Year of the Pig amid rising concerns about African swine fever and a three-day suspension of sales of the meat in the city.

 

Hong Kong’s pork industry confirmed last week it would halt the supply of live pigs in the city over the first three days of the Lunar New Year period to ­conduct ­thorough cleansing ­operations after nearly 1 million pigs were slaughtered in mainland China with the aim of getting the disease under control.

 

Closer to home, shoppers were unperturbed by the suspension of live pigs.

 

“It does not really matter, Lunar New Year is more about live chickens anyway, pork is just the side dish and it will not affect our mood to celebrate,” said a woman surnamed Liu.

 

For others, beloved Cantonese dishes such as roast suckling pig and barbecue pork would still be part of this year’s festivities.

 

“There is always frozen pork. Actually, our family has made the alteration recently since the outbreak of swine flu on the mainland because we are afraid live pigs might carry the virus,” said another woman, surnamed Ng.

 

“We don’t mind the suspension, it’s good the industry is taking the effort to thoroughly cleanse the slaughterhouses to ensure hygiene and safety of the livestock.”

 

According to an industry representative, the decision to clear out the city’s slaughterhouses during the new year was made after careful consideration and it was believed the impact on the public would be minimal.

 

“We have specifically picked these days to conduct ­thorough cleansing at three of the city’s slaughterhouses as the demand for fresh pork during this period is significantly lower than usual,” Chan Kin-yip, the chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Agriculture Association said.

 

“Most pork stalls at wet markets are closed ... they will not be selling anyway and families are very likely to go out for dinner, where most restaurants rely on the supply of frozen meat.”

 

Chan revealed that normally up to 4,000 live pigs are slaughtered daily at the city’s two main slaughterhouses – in Sheung Shui and Tsuen Wan.

 

Meanwhile around 20 are culled every day at another smaller slaughterhouse located in Cheung Chau.

 

“Swine fever is highly contagious and can spread rapidly through infected pigs, especially their faeces, and we can only conduct a disinfection and cleansing operation when the slaughterhouses are completely empty so we want to make sure when we come back on Friday, the places are 100 per cent virus free,” he explained.

 

Despite the shortage of pigs, pork prices are believed to remain unchanged and restaurant businesses should be unaffected.

 

A man surnamed Mak, a meat cutter working at a wet market fresh meat stall, said he still had no plans to stock up because it would not be open for business over the Lunar New Year.

 

He also said customers had not been stocking up on fresh pork either, due to changes in the way people celebrate Lunar New Year...

 

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https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/2184862/three-day-suspension-live-pig-supplies-unlikely

 

 

Hong Kong's wild boar dilemma in the Chinese New Year of the Pig

 

By Aleksander Solum, Reuters

via Euronews - 04/02/2019

 

HONG KONG (Reuters) - One of the world's most densely populated cities, Hong Kong, is facing a proliferation of wild boars as the large mammals stray increasingly into built-up areas.

 

And while some residents welcome sightings of the boars as a symbol of good fortune, especially with the arrival of the Chinese Lunar Year of the Pig on Tuesday, others say reports of attacks show that the wild pigs are becoming a danger.

 

The global financial hub isn't well known for its biodiversity, but with 40 percent of its land area comprised of protected country parks and reserves, it still harbours creatures such as boar, barking deer, porcupine, otters, threatened pangolins, giant Burmese pythons and more than 530 species of bird, some highly endangered.

 

Continued urbanisation of the city of 7.4 million is now increasingly drawing droves of wild boar to the teeming metropolis' fringes. Boar have charged down hikers, raided rubbish tips and camp sites, and even scampered through a shopping mall and a runway at the airport.

 

"Most Hong Kong wild boars, at this point, have already lost their fear of humans", said Roni Wong, a member of a community group campaigning for the protection of wild boars.

 

"The cause of it is feeding, which causes them to lose their natural instincts", added Wong who has identified numerous spots where residents feed wild animals in violation of local wildlife protection laws.

 

The habituation of boars to humans has brought some safety concerns. Complaints against wild pigs have more than doubled since 2013, with over 700 incidents reported in 2017, including some attacks on people.

 

"A lot of the residents who used to take part in outdoor leisure activities, especially at night, are no longer doing that", said Jeremy Young, a district councillor for the Peak, an affluent area with a conspicuous boar population in its woods.

 

"They are scared...

 

more

https://www.euronews.com/2019/02/04/hong-kongs-wild-boar-dilemma-in-the-chinese-new-year-of-the-pig