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Government bans poultry cull at slaughterhouses

Drones find illegally dumped dead birds

Government bans poultry cull at slaughterhouses

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In order to stem the expansion of avian flu, the government on Friday ordered a four-day stop to the killing of ducks, geese and chickens at slaughterhouses.
The ban will be in effect from noon Saturday until noon on January 28 at about 100 slaughterhouses, while four wholesale markets would stop trading. The closure would give crews the opportunity to disinfect the sites, officials said.
The rapid expansion of avian flu in Yunlin County has forced the government to take new measures to inspect the movement of poultry and eggs in five counties, reports said Friday.
More than 758,000 chickens, ducks and geese had been slaughtered at a total of 370 affected farms, official data said. The latest expansion recorded Thursday came in Changhua County, where four poultry farms were added to the list. The number of farms whose birds were being tested at laboratories totaled 430, reports said.
With the outbreaks of H5N2 and H5N8 expanding, Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Bao-ji announced Friday that control measures and disinfecting would take place for poultry and egg transports in five areas, namely Yunlin, Tainan, Chiayi, Changhua and Pingtung.
As the outbreak of avian flu continued to expand in Yunlin County and other parts of Taiwan, the Cabinet on Friday rejected allegations it was not doing enough.
Reports had said that health workers dealing with contaminated farms in the county had to cope with a serious shortage of protective suits and other equipment needed to visit the affected areas and remove dead poultry and fowl.
The Taipei City Government reportedly sent over extra protective suits because the central government had not done so, reports said.
Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Lih-chyun on Friday denied the allegations, saying central and local government worked like partners, with the former in charge of policies and the latter of execution. If and when the local authorities encountered difficulties in doing so, the central government would step in and help out, according to Sun.
Local governments should report back if they had certain needs, while the central government also needed to be proactive and understand the situation on the ground, Sun said.
In the case of Yunlin County, the central government’s Council of Agriculture had sent over 18,190 protective suits, 17,040 face masks, 10,000 pairs of gloves, 588 pairs of protective glasses, 1,869 tons of disinfectant and 10,600 body bags for animals between January 12 and 22, Sun said.
Local governments would also receive a total of NT$117 million (US$3.7 million) in extra aid, COA Minister Chen said.
By Thursday evening, the new types of H5N2 and H5N8 avian flu had affected 10 counties and cities on Taiwan’s main island, the authorities said. Only Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung, Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County in the North and Yilan, Hualien and Taitung on the East Coast had not reported any cases yet.
A checkup on dead birds at a Hualien farm turned negative for the avian flu types, reports said Friday.
Drones sent out by the Environmental Protection Administration recorded footage of large amounts of dead birds dumped illegally in four locations in Yunlin and Changhua.
Weather permitting, the EPA said it would send out more drones to areas hard to reach by car. It also encouraged members of the public to call its 0800-066-6666 hotline to report the finding of illegal dumping sites for dead birds.


Updated : 2021-09-18 14:02 GMT+08:00