Poultry ban to end Friday as bird flu outbreak slows down

Taipei--A nationwide ban on the slaughter and transportation of poultry will be lifted Friday, as the avian flu outbreak in Taiwan has effectively been brought under control, Agriculture Minister Lin Tsung-hsien (???) said Thursday.

The government issued the ban Feb. 17 in an effort to contain the spread of bird flu, particularly the highly pathogenic H5N6 virus. Other virus strains identified on Taiwan farms have been the H5N6, N5N2 and H5N8, according to the COA.

Lin said the poultry ban was lifted because the outbreak had slowed down in the past week.

On Thursday, 3,366 geese were culled on a farm in Chiayi County, southern Taiwan, as a precautionary measure, according to the COA's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ).

The farmer in Budai Township had reported an abnormal number of deaths among his geese, which were found to have signs of avian flu, the bureau said.

It was the first case of precautionary culling since the poultry ban was issued last week, according to the bureau.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel