TAIWAN - The Taiwan Council of Agriculture has brought in a four-day ban on killing chickens, ducks and geese in a bid to prevent the spread of the avian flu among poultry.
More than half a million birds have been culled due to infections.
Taiwan announced on 23 January a ban on the killing of chickens, ducks and geese at the nation's 100 slaughterhouses for a second time starting this weekend as an avian influenza outbreak continues to affect more farms.
Focus Taiwan reports that Chen Bao-ji, the head of the Council of Agriculture, said that the ban will last four days this time, unlike last time's two days, starting at noon on 24 January Saturday and continue until noon on 28 January.
During this period, there will be no killing at the slaughterhouses, which will undergo an across-the-board disinfection.
Sales of poultry in four wholesale markets in Taipei, Taichung and Fengshan and Gangshan in Kaohsiung will also be suspended.
The COA's Department of Animal Husbandry said that during this period, chickens, ducks and geese that were previously slaughtered and refrigerated will be sold, adding that the amount in storage was enough to meet the demand.
The COA first confirmed the infection of avian flu at a chicken farm in southern Taiwan's Pingtung county on 9 January.
It then announced a ban on killing geese and ducks at slaughterhouses for two days until noon on 14 January and took other measures, such as inspecting poultry farms and ordering disinfection routines. However, the number of farms and poultry affected continued to rise after the ban.
As of 18:00hr on 22 January, the COA has confirmed that 370 fowl farms in eight cities and counties in Taiwan have been infected with various strains of avian flu virus, including a new type of H5N2, as well as H5N8 and H5N3 that had not been found in Taiwan before.
According to Focus Taiwan, more than half a million poultry have been culled at affected farms as the government tries to stem the spread of the virus.
You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.
TheMeatSite News Desk