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Taoyuan officials step up measures to contain tilapia lake virus

2017/06/20 21:20

Taipei, June 20 (CNA) Officials in Taoyuan have stepped up measures to contain an outbreak of tilapia lake virus (TiLV), which has so far infected seven fish farms in the northern municipality.

Taoyuan's Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that it has urged tilapia fish farms to purchase their fish fry from reputable suppliers, raise them and observe their condition in isolated ponds for at least two weeks before moving them to regular ponds, and prevent mixing them with fish from unknown origins.

The department said it has also asked fish farms to maintain good water quality and ensure reasonable stocking density, and to report any abnormal behavior, illness or deaths of their fish to the authorities.

Chen Ying-hao (陳英豪), head of Taoyuan's Animal Protection Office, reiterated Tuesday that the infected farms, which are all located in Taoyuan's Guangyin District, are banned from transporting any living creatures from their premises for two weeks.

Although the virus only infects tilapia and there is no risk of it being passed on to humans, it can cause mass die-offs among tilapia, the office said.

Since June 13, seven fish farms in Guangyin District have been found to be infected with the virus, which is listed as a major infectious disease by the World Organization for Animal Health.

Officials fear that Taiwan's profitable tilapia industry could be jeopardized if the virus spreads to other parts of the country.

Taiwan is the sixth country to report the virus, after Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel and Thailand.

(By Wu Jui-chi and Christie Chen)ENDITEM/J