120,000 chickens to be culled over H5N2

By Zane Kheir ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A large chicken farm in Pingtung County (�̪F��) has experienced a serious outbreak of H5N2 bird-flu, infecting 120,000 chickens, with the Council of Agriculture (�A�e�|) saying that it received a report about the bird-flu outbreak on Wednesday that led it to immediately start taking samples. Legislator Su Chen-ching (Ĭ�_�M) said he was told that the chicken farm is owned by Dawushan Livestock Products Co. (�j�Z�s�b��). The farm has already been quarantined and the infected livestock are to be exterminated, said Su.

Dawushan Livestock is known to be one of Taiwan’s top livestock firms, with over 120,000 chickens and one of the biggest animal husbandry operations in Taiwan.

Up to yesterday afternoon, the Council of Agriculture had not revealed the location of the infected farm, nor the number of chickens that needed to be killed. Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (���˧�) Deputy Secretary Shih Tai-hua (�I����) said yesterday afternoon that the bureau still needs time to properly investigate the case before giving further details. According to reports, the Pingtung chicken egg facility recently had an unspecified number of chickens die unexpectedly. Among the results of the initial samples collected on Jan. 6 was evidence showing a high probability of the bird-flu pathogen. The facility was immediately closed off to ensure that the bird-flu would not spread outside of the farm.

Chickens Raised with the Utmost Care: Dawushan Dawushan is known for producing high-quality livestock and eggs and sells its products at a higher price than others. The firm emphasized that they utilize a system of standard disease prevention procedures, which require all staff and vehicles entering the premises to be disinfected.

Feeding staff all pass through a special washroom prior to entering the area where the chickens are held. The firm explained that even visitors have their body temperature taken before entering. The chicken husbandry facility has a completely sealed water source, which can effectively isolate bird-flu. Dawushan claims that the chickens that are put out to pasture are raised listening to Mozart music and are raised with great care to generate the highest quality eggs. As in previous bird-flu outbreaks, all chickens within the facility must be exterminated to minimize the chance of the disease spreading. In addition, a 3-kilometer radius around the facility is likely to be under close supervision for approximately three weeks to ensure the H5N2 virus does not leak out and potentially cause an epidemic.