Sun, Feb 19, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Military helps cull 22,000 Yunlin County chickens

HIGH ALERT:Several cities warned people they face stiff fines for feeding wild birds, with Taipei saying that exposure to the birds’ excrement raises infection risks

Staff Writer, with CNA

With assistance from the military, animal quarantine authorities culled more than 22,000 chickens on a farm in Yunlin County yesterday.

Photo: Taipei Times.

With assistance from the military, animal quarantine authorities culled more than 22,000 chickens on a farm in Yunlin County’s Shueilin Township (水林) yesterday, as part of efforts to fight avian influenza.

Since late December last year, bird flu has been discovered in 17 poultry farms in the county, with over 150,000 birds having been culled, Yunlin County Animal and Plant Disease Control Center Director Liao Pei-chih (廖培志) said.

Outbreaks of the highly pathogenic H5N6 strain this month have put the poultry industry on high alert, he said.

As of yesterday, 11 farms in Hualien, Tainan, Chiayi and Yunlin counties have been confirmed as having the H5N6 strain of the virus, which is highly contagious and transmittable to humans, according to the Council of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

As part of ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the virus, the council banned the transportation and slaughter of poultry for a period of seven days, which started on Friday.

Meanwhile, several cities yesterday warned the public not to feed birds in parks or risk stiff fines.

The Taipei City Government has stepped up its campaign, posting warning signs in 14 of the city’s larger parks and warning that people could be exposed to excrement when feeding birds, increasing the risk of infection.

As the feeding could also pollute the environment, offenders could face fines of between NT$1,200 and NT$6,000 for violation of the Waste Disposal Act (廢棄物清理法), the officials said.

The Taichung City Government said yesterday that it would step up inspections of its parks, adding that people who do not heed warnings may face fines of up to NT$10,000 for feeding birds.

The Tainan City Government issued a similar warning and has also disinfected locations frequented by wild doves.

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