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HONGKONG, May 21, 2001: A Buddhist temple yesterday carried out a ritual to compensate for what it called the "sinful cull'' of 1.2 million chickens in Hongkong, ordered after an outbreak of the potentially deadly bird flu virus. Reverend Wing Sing of the Western Monastery said that the deaths of so many birds was a sin which could not just be left to fester. He added that the three-hour ritual was held to avert the possibility of natural disasters, including typhoons and other illnesses and disease, hitting Hongkong and its people. According to Rev. Wing, the temple would release hundreds of fish as part of the ceremony to pacify the lost souls of the chickens, in addition to prayers.