Taiwan bans poultry imports from U.K. over bird flu fears

Taipei,  Taiwan has removed the United Kingdom from its list of countries free from the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus and banned live poultry imports from the country after an outbreak was confirmed at a British poultry farm, the Council of Agriculture said Wednesday.

The subtype H5N8 of avian influenza was confirmed at a farm near Frodsham in Cheshire and all 13,500 broiler chickens on the farm will be culled to limit the spread of the disease, the COA’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) said in a statement citing a recent report by the U.K’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

DEFRA also said it implemented control zones of 3 kilometers and 10 km around the infected site to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Taiwan’s BAPHIQ said that to prevent the spread of bird flu on the island, it removed the U.K. from the list of countries considered free of the virus and imposed a ban on imports of live poultry and hatching eggs from the country on Wednesday.

Importers of live poultry and birds from the U.K. are expected to be mainly impacted by the ban, BAPHIQ said.

According to statistics, since 2018 Taiwan has imported 79 live poultry and birds from the U.K., including goshawks and red-tailed buzzards, BAPHIQ added.

Avian influenza viruses are most common during the fall and winter. As a result, recent outbreaks of the disease have also been reported in the Netherlands, Russia, Israel, Kazakhstan and Vietnam.

Taiwan should prepare for the possibility of a bird flu pandemic as thousands of raptors usually fly over the country in autumn as they migrate south for the winter, according to BAPHIQ.

 

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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