24,000 Chickens Culled in Chiayi Over Avian Flu Fears

avian flu
Discoloration of the comb indicates possible avian flu infection. (USDA file photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Livestock Disease Control Center of Chiayi County (LDCC, 嘉義縣家畜疾病防治所) culled more than 24,000 chickens today as high-pathogenic avian influenza H5N2 was confirmed on a poultry farm in Puzi yesterday.

Authorities ran tests after a suspicious death was reported at the farm on April 3, Apple Daily reported.

LDCC Director Li Chien-lin (李建霖) said the farm reported the death of 9-week-old chicken that prompted testing for avian flu. After confirming that the high-pathogenic strain of H5N2 was responsible for the death, authorities carried out the culling of 24,422 chickens.

Li noted that 11 poultry farms in Chiayi have been infected with avian flu this year, with H5N6 identified in the first wave of infections. H5N6 has spread to humans in the past, causing death in some cases, while human infections of H5N2 have been less severe.

Li added that the recent changes in temperature are prime conditions for avian flu to spread and poultry farms must take preventative measures to ensure the health of their birds.

As of March 31, a total of 1,034,592 birds had been culled at 112 farms nationwide because of bird flu in 2016. Earlier this year Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) said that authorities had the H5N6 epidemic under control in Taiwan.

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