TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A total of 9,556 chickens on a farm in southern Taiwan's Changhua County were culled Sunday (June 21) after they were confirmed to have been infected with the highly pathogenic H5N5 avian influenza.
The Changhua Animal Disease Control Center (ADCC) said that it received reports from a farm in Dacheng Township last Thursday (June 18) about abnormal chicken deaths, which were later confirmed to be caused by an H5N5 outbreak. It said that it instructed the owner of the chickens to disinfect his farm and surrounding areas thoroughly after the cull.
ADCC Director Tung Meng-chih (董孟治) told the media that the recent high temperatures across the island may have been a contributing factor in the decline of the avians' immune systems. He urged chicken farmers to pay constant attention to the ventilation and temperature control of hatcheries and stressed that overcrowding should be avoided.
Tung also said farm operators should not visit the chickens too frequently, as the virus may be transmitted via humans. He added that any unusual decrease in the animals' food and water consumption or egg production is an indicator of the possible presence of avian influenza and that the authorities should be notified immediately in the event of such a scenario, reported ETtoday.