Kaohsiung, Feb. 15 (CNA) Kaohsiung City on Wednesday issued an order for 3,033 flu-infected chicken carcasses from a farm in Yunlin County to be sent to a rendering plant.
The batch of chickens had been sent from a farm in the central Taiwan county to a slaughtering facility in Kaohsiung but several of them began dying before they could be slaughtered, which led to suspicions that they were infected with bird flu, said Hsu Jung-bin (徐榮彬), head of the Kaohsiung City Animal Protection Office.
Tests on the carcasses confirmed Wednesday that the chickens had died of avian flu, which has hit several poultry farms in Yunlin and other areas of Taiwan, Hsu said.
He said that before the test results became available, the chickens had all been slaughtered and were being kept frozen at the Kaohsiung facility at his instructions.
After receiving confirmation of an H5 subtype virus infection, Hsu said, he immediately issued an order for all of the frozen carcasses to be sent to a rendering plant in the city and for the abattoir to suspend operation for 24 hours to sterilize its facilities.
Since the beginning of the year, 13 poultry farms in Yunlin have been hit by avian flu and more than 127,000 birds in the county have been culled.
Avian flu outbreaks have also been reported in eastern Hualien and Taitung counties.
(By Wang Shwu-fen and Elizabeth Hsu)