20,000 chickens culled on Changhua farm due to avian flu

Taipei--More than 20,000 chickens at a farm in Changhua County were culled Tuesday after the farm was confirmed to have been infected with the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of avian influenza.

Tung Meng-chih (???), director of the county's Animal Disease Control Center, said that the center was informed of abnormal deaths at the chicken farm in the county's Fangyuan Township on Feb. 17, with a reported death rate of 0.4 percent.

The center sent staff to collect samples from the farm and confirmed that it was infected with the highly pathogenic virus.

Taiwan has been on high alert over the spread of avian flu and put a ban on transportation of poultry for seven days starting Feb. 17, mainly because of the outbreak of another highly pathogenic avian flu virus, H5N6.

Agriculture authorities confirmed a total of 18 cases as of Monday, with six cities and counties reporting confirmation of H5N6 infection cases -- Tainan, Chiayi, Yunlin, Hsinchu, Yilan and Hualien -- since Feb. 6.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel