Precautionary measures in place to keep out bird flu

We thank Mr Ng Kei Yong for his feedback ("Birds at hawker centres a health concern"; Forum Online, June 13).

Birds, such as pigeons and javan mynahs, are attracted to hawker centres and coffee shops due to the availability of food scraps, which are sources of food for them.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) works with relevant stakeholders, including the National Environment Agency (NEA) and town councils, on various measures to reduce the birds' food supply and control the bird population, including proper waste management, surveillance and bird control operations, public education against feeding/littering and enforcement against pigeon feeders and litterbugs.

The NEA also works with table-cleaning contractors at hawker centres to ensure the timely disposal of food scraps, so as to remove potential food sources for birds.

Patrons can also help by not littering, not leaving food scraps on tables and returning used crockery to tray-return points.

Singapore is currently free from bird flu. The AVA has in place precautionary measures to keep out bird flu, including regular checks on crows, mynahs and pigeons.

So far, no bird flu virus has been detected.

Jessica Kwok (Ms)

Group Director

Animal Management Group

Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority

Ivy Ong (Ms)

Director

Hawker Centres Division

National Environment Agency