Another chicken farm in Changhua County is believed to have been hit by avian flu after more than 120 hens were reported dead, an animal disease control official said yesterday.
Inspectors collected tissue samples from the hens that died on Monday to determine if they fell victim to the H5N2 avian influenza strain, which was detected at another chicken farm in the county in December last year and led to the culling of more than 50,000 chickens.
Currently, three chicken farms in the county have been affected by bird flu, County Animal Disease Control Center director Kuo Chou-che (郭丑哲) said.
As a result, strict regulations have been put in place prohibiting the movement of all birds and eggs from those farms. Quarantine experts are now working to determine what caused the outbreak.
While chicken farms around Taiwan are taking precautions to prevent an outbreak of the H5N2 avian flu, the Greater Taichung Government Health Bureau has started to vaccinate poultry farmers against the deadly H5N1 flu virus.
A series of anti-avian flu quarantine measures have been introduced in Taipei to keep the H5N2 virus at bay. Although there are no large chicken farms in Taipei City, the city government is conducting a city-wide inspection on birds registered at wholesale poultry markets, livestock farms and pet shops, Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁) said.
Taipei’s Market Management Bureau Director Ding Juo-ting (丁若亭) said the municipal livestock market handles between 60,000 and 80,000 chickens every day, with more than 5,800 registered birds from chicken or livestock farms.
The city government would increase the number of blood -samples taken from birds from 300 to 600 a month, and the more rigorous inspections should enhance food safety, Ding said.
Chen said there was insufficient evidence to prove the H5N2 strain can cross between humans and animals, so the public should not be overly concerned, though people should keep a safe distance from birds and not eat raw meat or eggs.
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