Birds at hawker centres a health concern

Of late, I have noticed an increased number of birds loitering around coffee shops and hawker centres, waiting for an easy meal.

These birds seem to be bolder than usual and do not appear wary of humans.

Recently, it was reported that Hong Kong culled 4,500 birds at a wholesale market after the avian flu virus was found in a faecal sample collected from one of the birds ("HK culls 4,500 birds amid bird flu scare"; June 8).

While the virus seems to affect mainly poultry, I wonder if it could reach our shores.

This would be cause for concern, with birds in such close proximity to humans, especially in our dining places.

For now, I believe the potential health hazards posed are real, as there are bird droppings everywhere - on chairs, tables and utensils.

I hope that the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and the National Environment Agency will take action to control the bird population before it becomes a major problem.

Ng Kei Yong