(Photo courtesy of Changhua County government)
Taipei, March 16 (CNA) A total of 1,277 ducks were culled on a farm in Changhua County on Thursday after it was found to be infected with bird flu, the county government said.
The farm in Fangyuan Township was confirmed as being infected with the H5 subtype of the avian influenza virus, though the exact strain has yet to be determined, said Tung Meng-chih (董孟治), head of the county's Animal Disease Control Center.
The case was detected during an inspection conducted before the ducks were slaughtered for sale, Tung said.
Because ducks infected with bird flu often display no symptoms, the Council of Agriculture (COA) recently introduced a new rule requiring ducks to be tested for bird flu before they can be slaughtered for sale.
The policy will remain in force until at least May 31.
As of March 15, 91 poultry farms in Taiwan had been confirmed to be affected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, and 754,524 birds had been culled, according to the COA.
Of the 91 farms, 12 were hit by the more virulent H5N6 strain, which can be transmitted to humans. Those 12 farms were in Hualien, Tainan, Yunlin and Chiayi counties.
(By Wu Jhe-hao and Y.F. Low)