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Nearly 90,000 fowl culled in wake of avian flu outbreak

Nearly 90,000 fowl culled in wake of avian flu outbreak

Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) Taiwan has culled 89,829 chickens, ducks and geese at 57 farms since the recent avian influenza outbreak first erupted on Jan. 9, the country's animal health agency said Saturday. The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said that 192 farms in nine cities and counties have sent samples for lab tests, and samples from 142 of them have been confirmed as being infected with an avian flu virus of the H5 subtype. Taiwan has detected two highly pathogenic bird flu strains, H5N8 and H5N3, at poultry farms since last week that had never been seen in Taiwan before. Taiwan has also discovered a new variant of the H5N2 subtype that is different from the H5N2 strain previously isolated in Taiwan. Bureau chief Chang Shu-hsien said that to prevent the virus from spreading further, farm owners must provide a health certificate issued by a veterinarian when sending poultry to be slaughtered ahead of being sold. Violators will be fined between NT$50,000 (US$1,584) and NT$1 million starting Jan. 18 based on the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease, Chang said. Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense said Saturday that military personnel have been sent to Taoyuan, Yunlin, Chiayi, Tainan and Pingtung to help local governments fight the spread of the avian flu. Military personnel were deployed to help with disinfection and transportation of the dead fowl carcasses. In Tainan, 18 fowl farms are confirmed to have been infected with avian flu, while samples from another 12 farms are still being tested. In Taoyuan, more than 22,000 geese were culled Saturday after having been confirmed as being infected with a virus of the H5 subtype. (By Chen Cheng-wei, Chiu Chun-chin, Chang Jung-hsiang, Chiang Chun-liang and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-25 18:30 GMT+08:00