TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After a difficult year for poultry farmers in Yunlin County, another farm was discovered to have been infected with the bird flu virus, leading to prompt action by the local government and the culling of almost 100 turkeys in Sihu Township (四湖鄉).
Last week on Dec. 27, a farm worker discovered that a turkey had died of unknown causes, before immediately calling the Yunlin Animal and Plant Disease Control Center. Upon inspection the 11 week old turkey was found to have been infected with the H5N2 Avian Flu Virus.
The entire stock of 989 young turkeys was ordered to be culled. The operation was completed on Saturday, Dec. 29.
The Sihu operation brings the total number of poultry farms in Yunlin County ordered to cull their livestock in 2018 to 62.
The good news is that the number of culling operations in 2018 does represent a decrease when compared to 2017, when 101 poultry farms in Yunlin were forced to cull their livestock over the course of the year.
UDN quotes Cheng An-kuo (鄭安國), a livestock specialist at the county’s Animal and Plant Disease Control Center, as saying that in 2018, the county was forced to kill a total of 445, 514 birds to combat possible spread of the disease. In 2017 that number was 1,174,520.
There are reportedly fears that the virus has become localized, and is being spread between farms by wild birds in the region. Cheng says the county will remain on guard to contain future outbreaks, and will maintain strict precautions across the livestock industry.