Hong Kong is free of the chicken flu that devastated its poultry industry last year, documents released to the Office International des Epizooties have stated.

Only five outbreaks of avian influenza virus strain H5N1 were detected in the former UK colony during December 2002 and January 2003 in poultry markets and farms, and no further cases have been detected since 31 January.

Health authorities used quarantine, slaughter, vaccination and monitoring to quell the epidemic. There is also an ongoing surveillance system on Hong Kong poultry farms, wholesale and retail poultry markets. Tests are performed on samples from over 6,000 chickens and other poultry each month.