Central Taiwan farm culls 16,031 chickens over H5N5 avian flu

Poultry at Erlin Township farm tests positive for avian influenza virus

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Poultry farm (Pixabay photo)

Poultry farm (Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A farm located in Changhua County’s Erlin Township was found to have chickens infected with the highly pathogenic H5N5 avian influenza.

According to Tung Meng-chih (董孟治), director of the Changhua County Animal Disease Control Center (ADCC), the farm had reported abnormal deaths of chickens on Aug. 6, so officials were sent over to test the birds and assess the situation, CNA reported. Results from the tests came out on Sunday (Aug. 9) and showed the presence of H5N5.

Personnel from the ADCC were sent out to the location on Monday (Aug. 10) and culled 16,031 chickens and disinfected the farm. Tung said that recent high temperatures likely weakened the birds’ immune systems due to heat stress making them more susceptible to infection.

He reminded poultry farms not to use illegal vaccines and to make sure proper precautions are put in place to keep poultry from coming in contact with wild birds in order to prevent pathogens from entering farms.

Tung urged farmers to have proper access controls in place in order to restrict people and vehicles from entering poultry farms. If entry is required, people must change their clothes and shoes, while vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected before entering.

The director also stressed the importance of notifying the ADCC immediately in case of any abnormal deaths, reduced food or water intake, or fluctuation in egg production in order to avoid any outbreaks.