Chinese investigate bird deaths at equestrian venue


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Two dead birds were discovered at the Olympic equestrian venue in Hong Kong, Associated Press reports, and Chinese authorities are testing whether they were infected with the bird flu virus.

The birds were found last week, equestrian competition official Mark Pinkstone said Monday.


Though the H5N1 bird flu isn’t a threat to horses, it can be lethal to humans. Hong Kong has struggled with bird flu over the years. Six people died during a 1997 outbreak.

Olympic equestrian events, which will be contested between Aug. 9 and 21, were moved from Beijing to Hong Kong because of a rash of equine diseases and substandard quarantine procedures on the mainland.

The Veterinary Department Equine Clinic is part of a state-of-the-art facility at the Shatin Olympic Equestrian Venue in Hong Kong. Credit: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images