Taiwan's representative in Britain yesterday demanded that a British health official explain her supposition that Taiwanese birds passed avian flu to a parrot that was in quarantine in Britain.
"Debby Reynolds saying before test results were out that the Taiwan birds carried H5N1 has not only seriously hurt Taiwan's international image but also exposed negligence in Britain's quarantine," Lin Hsin-yi (林俊義) said in an interview with the BBC, referring to the strain of the virus health authorities fear could cause a pandemic.
"We demand a report and an explanation from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [DEFRA] and at the same time express our gravest concern to the British government," he said.
Reynolds, the department's chief veterinarian, said on Friday that a parrot imported from Suriname had died of bird flu while in quarantine in Britain's first case of bird flu since 1992.
She confirmed on Monday night that the parrot died of the virulent H5N1 strain.
Lin said the parrot that died arrived in Britain from Suriname on Sept. 16 and was soon killed because it carried bird flu, but the Taiwanese birds that were alleged to have infected it arrived in Britain on Sept. 27.
"DEFRA must explain if the Suriname parrot -- or the Taiwan birds -- were infected first," Lin told the BBC. "It cannot assume that since most of the bird flu cases are in Asia, the Taiwan birds carried H5N1."
Lin also criticized the department for locking up birds from different countries together because bird flu can be transmitted bird-to-bird through the air.
Two people were killed and another nine injured yesterday after being stung by hornets while hiking in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳), with officials warning against wearing perfume or straying from trails during the autumn to avoid the potentially deadly creatures. Seven of the hikers only sustained minor injuries after being stung along the Bafenliao Hiking Trail (八分寮) and made their way down the mountain with a guide, the New Taipei City Fire Department said. Four of them — all male — sustained more serious injuries and were assisted when leaving the mountain, the department said. Two of them, a man surnamed
Recent movements by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have been “highly unusual,” but the military maintains a grasp of the situation, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said on Friday, after the military for the first time said it was monitoring troop movements in China’s Dacheng Bay (大埕灣). The minister gave the remarks to reporters before appearing at the legislature on the first day of its new session. The Ministry of National Defense on Thursday evening released an air force surveillance photograph of a PLA Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, and said it was monitoring the PLA Rocket Force and ground
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for