Avian flu hits Tainan chicken farm, 10,820 birds culled

Photo courtesy of Tainan Animal Health Inspection and Protection Office

Taipei, April 16 (CNA) A total of 10,820 chickens on a farm in Tainan were culled after it was confirmed to be infected with the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza virus, the city’s Animal Health Inspection and Protection Office said Monday.

Samples taken on April 2 from a free-range poultry farm in Guiren District were confirmed to be infected with this subtype of the avian flu virus, the office’s Deputy Director Chuang Wei-chao (莊惟超) said.

The culling on Monday also marked the third time Tainan has been hit by the disease this year, Chuang said.

Disinfection work and bird flu surveillance and monitoring procedures were also enhanced at poultry farms near the infected chicken farm, he said.

The center urged farm owners to keep their farms well-ventilated as summer approaches and prevent birds on their farms from coming in contact with wild birds, which could result in additional cases of the avian flu, the office said.

According to data released by the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA), 63 poultry farms in Taiwan have been hit by avian flu so far this year, resulting in 473,058 birds being culled.

(By Yang Sz-ruei, Wu Hsin-yun and Ko Lin)