Taipei, Taiwan has removed Lithuania from its list of countries free of avian flu and banned live poultry imports from the country after an outbreak was confirmed at a local poultry farm, the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture said Monday.
Importing live birds and their eggs used for breeding purposes from Lithuania has been banned in Taiwan with immediate effect, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) said.
The move should not have any effect on local supplies, however, because Taiwan does not currently import live birds from the European country.
Taiwan made the announcement after Lithuania reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza virus among backyard poultry to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on Jan. 8.
Lithuania’s agriculture ministry reported the outbreak, which occurred in the town of Kaunas, and killed 22 poultry in the yard, with the remaining five culled, said Hsu Jung-pin (徐榮彬), deputy director-general of BAPHIQ.
Avian influenza viruses are most common during the fall and winter.
Outbreaks of the disease have also been reported among backyard poultry or wild birds in a number of countries including Japan, South Korea, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Slovakia, Iran, Italy, Croatia, Russia and China.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel