January 15, 2018
Taiwan, Japan hit by new bird flu outbreaks
A new outbreak of bird flu has hit Taiwan and, already, some 39,000 ducks have been culled, the island's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said, Xinhua reported.
Meanwhile, Taiwan imposed a new ban on poultry imports from Japan after an H5 strain of avian flu was detected in Kagawa Prefecture and led to the culling of 92,000 chickens, according to a Focus Taiwan News Channel report.
Taiwan's animal and plant health bureau confirmed Friday night that ducks at a large farm in Yenpu town, Pingdong county, in Taiwan's southern region were infected with the highly pathogenic H5 sub-type of the avian influenza virus.
The Xinhua report said the H5N2 strain likely affected the duck farm, which is located close to farms where other H5N2 cases had emerged. A chicken farm in the same town was confirmed to have the H5N2 flu strain on Dec. 29.
The bureau said disinfection work was being strengthened since there are many open duck farms in the same area.
Taiwan is a common destination for migrating birds. Cases of avian flu generally peak during the cool season from January to April.
According to Taiwan, the latest bird flu case in Japan was confirmed at a chicken farm in Sanuki city on Thursday.
Four days before the imposition of the new ban on Japanese poultry, Taiwan lifted an earlier ban imposed on Nov. 29, 2016, when a major bird flu outbreak hit farms in the northern part of the country.
Taiwanese authorities made the assurance that during the four days between the lifting of the ban and its reinstatement, there were no shipments of Japanese poultry into the country.