Chickens at two slaughterhouses in Taipei and New Taipei City were confirmed to be infected with the H5N8 avian influenza virus, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday.
As of yesterday, 40 chickens at a slaughterhouse in New Taipei City’s Taishan District (泰山) and 24 chickens at a facility in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華) have been culled, Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Deputy Director-General Shih Tai-hua (施泰華) said.
The infected chickens came from poultry farms in Taoyuan’s Dasi District (大溪) and Yunlin County’s Shueilin Township (水林), he said.
After receiving veterinarian reports on Friday, the bureau had prohibited the two farms from transporting any chickens.
More avian flu infections — mainly the H5N2 and H5N8 strains — than normal were reported this summer, which should have been a dormant season for the viruses, Shih said.
China, Vietnam and the Philippines also reported more bird flu infections this summer, he said, denying media reports that the viruses have adapted to the nation’s warmer weather.
“We have been analyzing the viruses every season, but have not observed any sign of evolution,” Shih said.
The risk of humans becoming infected with H5N8 “cannot be excluded, although the likelihood is low,” according to the WHO.
The nation’s chicken farmers had a difficult year, as they have faced successive blows from an H5N6 outbreak during the first four months, dioxin-polluted eggs in late April, fipronil-tainted eggs late last month and bird flu infections.
As of 6pm yesterday, eggs were sold at an average of NT$20.5 per 600g, much cheaper than the NT$29 they sold for before the fipronil scare erupted on Aug. 20.
“With schools starting, the demand for eggs is on the rise, as is their price,” Department of Animal Industry Deputy Director Wang Chung-shu (王忠恕) said, declining requests to predict the price.
However, chicken and egg supplies are still sufficient given that the fipronil scare did not lead to major culls, he added.
The Han Kuang exercises, the nation’s major war games, are to start today and run for five days. The drills are to include a military aircraft emergency takeoff and landing exercise on a regular roadway on Wednesday, featuring all three fighter jet models in Taiwan’s fleet, a military source said last week. The drill is to begin at 6:30am on a 3km section of Provincial Highway No. 1 in Pingtung County’s Jiadong Township (佳冬), and feature an Indigenous Defense Fighter, an F-16V, a Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K Hawkeye early warning aircraft, the source said. The emergency landing and takeoff drill aims to
MRNA VACCINE: Heart inflammation is rare, but possible after a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot, and students need to be aware of possible side effects, an expert said As Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations for students aged 12 to 17 are to begin on campuses on Thursday next week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged recipients to be especially watchful for five signs of possible myocarditis or pericarditis, which are rare adverse reactions to some COVID-19 vaccines. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices convener Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎) joined the CECC’s daily news briefing to report on possible side effects after receiving a BioNTech vaccine. Lee said that cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been observed in people in the US who have received mRNA COVID-19
Taiwan on Friday accused China of seeking to use the Honduran election to “create controversy” and undermine Taiwan’s long-standing ties with the country, saying it would strive to win support for Honduras’ relations with Taipei. Honduras’ main left-wing opposition party, the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), led by ousted former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, has said that if it wins November’s presidential election it would seek to “readjust” the country’s debt and establish diplomatic relations with China. Honduras is one of 15 UN member countries that maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has already warned Honduras not
TESTING THE WATERS: Making the considerations public a day after a Biden-Xi phone call indicates that the US is testing China’s reaction, a think tank head said A Financial Times report that the US is considering allowing Taiwan to change the name of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington to feature the name “Taiwan” highlighted Washington’s “two-pronged” approach to China, a researcher said yesterday. The report on Friday said that Washington might allow the nation to change the office’s name to “Taiwan Representative Office.” The report came after US President Joe Biden on Thursday spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) by telephone for the first time since February. A White House readout of the call said that “the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both