Wed, Jan 11, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan remains free of avian flu, DOH official says

CNA , TAIPEI

The nation's avian flu alert level remains at the "zero" state because no infection has been reported so far, a senior health official said yesterday.

Taiwan remains safe for the time being, despite recent outbreaks of avian flu in Turkey, Department of Health (DOH) Minister Hou Sheng-mau (侯勝茂) said while explaining the issue during a gathering with legislative caucus members of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

DPP lawmakers were worried that birds smuggled from China may be re-exported from Taiwan, creating a loophole in the government's efforts to stem the spread of the disease and tainting the country's image.

Sung Hu-tsung, head of the Bureau of Plant and Animal Health Inspection and Quarantine at the Council of Agriculture, said that birds exported from Taiwan do not have the H5N1 virus and added that apart from Britain, Taiwan also exported birds to France and Italy last year.

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