Fri, May 11, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Chicken deaths not a cause for alarm: Yunlin government

By Huang Shu-li  /  Staff reporter

More than 3,000 chickens have died at a farm near Yunlin since Monday, but the county’s agricultural department said the birds had not entered the market and there was no need for alarm.

Yunlin County Department of Agriculture Director-General Lu Cheng-chang (呂政璋) said the owner of the farm in Beigang Township (北港) had informed the township office’s veterinarian that 250 chickens had died on Monday, with 1,500 more dying on Tuesday and 1,825 the following day.

The Yunlin County Government increased its disease prevention efforts during a March outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N2 virus. There has not been another outbreak at the county’s 1,500 poultry farms, 900 of which raise chickens, Lu said.

“This week’s case is an isolated incident and the county government is already implementing disease prevention and control measures,” Lu said.

Chang Hung-yu (張鴻猷), the chief of the county’s animal disease control center, said that after it was notified of the deaths, it immediately dispatched staff to investigate.

“Samples were taken on Tuesday from dead chickens and sent to the Council of Agriculture’s Animal Health Research Institute for testing, and we have limited the number of people and vehicles that can enter the farm,” Chang said.

The center also disinfected poultry sheds and the surrounding area, he added.

There has been no sign of the incident spreading, Chang said, adding that chickens dying from avian influenza manifest obvious symptoms, such as their feet turning deep purple.

There were no such symptoms on the bodies of the dead chickens at the farm, Chang said, adding that the center would not know the cause of death until later today when the test results are released by the institute.

Chao Yang Elementary School, situated only 200m from the farm, has alerted students to stay away from the school and the farm.

Translated by Jake Chung, staff writer

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