9,556 chickens culled in Changhua due to avian flu

Photo courtesy of Changhua County government. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Over 9,500 chickens on a farm in Changhua County, central Taiwan, were culled Sunday after they were confirmed to be infected with the highly pathogenic H5N5 avian influenza virus, according to the Changhua County Animal Disease Control Center.

A total of 9,556 chickens were culled on the farm in Dacheng Township, the center said in a statement.

The farmer reported to the center on June 18 that some of his chickens had recently died abnormally, prompting it to take samples from the farm for testing, the authorities said.

The center confirmed Sunday that the chickens had in fact contracted the H5N5 virus and quarantine officers immediately had them culled.

After the cull, poultry workers went to work disinfecting the farm and surrounding areas, according to the center.

Noting that exposure to heat stress suppresses the immune responses of poultry, which can increase their susceptibility to infectious diseases, the center urged poultry farmers to ensure proper ventilation and suitable temperatures for poultry sheds and keep their birds from being overcrowded, thereby reducing potential sources of infection.