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Taiwan to import chickens if avian flu outbreak worsens

Taiwan to import chickens if avian flu outbreak worsens

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) Vice Premier Chang San-cheng (???) said Monday that if the avian influenza outbreak gets worse, the government will begin importing frozen chickens and also work with the Ministry of Finance to lower tariffs as necessary. As for hikes in pork prices amid public fears in the wake of the avian flu outbreak and the massive culling of chickens, ducks and geese, Chang said the government will have state-owned Taiwan Sugar Corp. increase its supply of pork to the market. The vice premier made the remarks during a second meeting on measures to deal with the avian flu outbreak. Council of Agriculture chief Chen Bao-ji (???) said the supply of chickens was roughly the same as last year, and people did not need to worry about a shortage ahead of the Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb. 19. The vice premier also said the government will offer full compensation to farm owners who take the initiative to report avian flu infection and have their fowl culled because Taiwan is dealing with highly pathogenic flu strains -- including H5N8 and H5N3 -- 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. Chang said the governments are generally only required to compensate the farms for 60 percent of their losses after the scale of the damage is assessed. The funding for the standard 60 percent compensation is usually split evenly between the central and local government, but because the central government has decided to raise the ratio, the final split will be decided after an assessment by each local government, the vice premier said. (By Tang Pei-chun and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-20 23:35 GMT+08:00