Nearly 16,000 chickens culled in S. Taiwan due to avian flu

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16,000 chickens on Pingtung farm culled Saturday because of avian flu. (Pixabay photo)

16,000 chickens on Pingtung farm culled Saturday because of avian flu. (Pixabay photo)

Nearly 16,000 chickens raised on a farm in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan, were culled Saturday (April 25) after they were confirmed to be infected with the highly pathogenic H5N5 avian influenza virus, according to the Pingtung County Animal Disease Control Center.

The center said that a total of 15,826 chickens around six weeks old were culled on the farm in Yanpu Township.

The authorities said the owner of the farm reported to the center on Wednesday that some of his chickens had recently died strangely, prompting the center to take samples from the farm for testing.

The test results came out Saturday showing that the chickens had contracted the H5N5 virus and the center immediately took action to have them culled.

After the cull, the center said it instructed the owner of the chickens to disinfect his farm and surrounding areas thoroughly.

In addition, the authorities have also started efforts to take samples from other poultry farms within a one-kilometer radius of the affected farm in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, the center added.