Over 16,000 chickens culled in Taiwan Pingtung due to avian flu

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(CNA photo)

A total of 16,310 chickens raised on a farm in Pingtung County in southern Taiwan were culled Sunday after the farm was confirmed to be infected with the highly pathogenic H5N5 avian influenza virus.

The chickens, around seven weeks of age, were culled on a farm in Yanpu Township by authorities from the Pingtung County Animal Disease Control Center, according to center director Lee Yung-Wen (李永文).

The center also collected samples within a three-kilometer radius and disinfected the area to prevent the disease from spreading, Lee said.

This is the sixth poultry farm in Pingtung to be infected with avian flu this year, according to Lee, who felt the county has done a relatively good job in controlling infections given that the county has more than 1,000 poultry farms, the second most of any county or city in Taiwan.

Farm operators should strengthen efforts to disinfect their properties and restrict the movements of personnel and vehicles to maintain good hygiene and protect the health of their birds, Lee said.