Over 5,000 ducks culled in Changhua, Tainan over avian flu

Taipei-More than 5,000 ducks were culled across Changhua County and Tainan after it was confirmed that they had been infected with the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of avian influenza, inspection officials said Monday.

A total of 1,185 ducks on two farms in Fangyuan and Dacheng townships in Changhua and 4,193 ducks on a farm in Guiren District in Tainan were culled, according to data released by the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture (COA).

That brings the total number of poultry farms hit by avian influenza in Taiwan to 19 so far this year, and the total number of birds culled to 164,999, the data showed.

Tung Meng-chih (???), head of Changhua County’s Animal Disease Control Center, said tissue samples were taken from ducks on the two farms on January 22, and they were culled after testing positive for avian flu.

The center urged farm owners to keep their farms warm and well-ventilated and prevent birds on their farms from contact with wild birds that could result in additional cases of the avian flu.

In Tainan, the city’s Animal Health Inspection and Protection Office said the ducks were culled on Monday after samples taken from a farm in Guiren on January 24 showed that they had been infected with the H5N2 strain of avian influenza.

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

Of the 25 duck farms inspected in the city, aside from the one in Guiren found to be contaminated, 22 have so far been cleared of infection and can sell their birds on the market, while test results from the two other farms are still not in.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel