Taipei, July 5 (CNA) More than 1,000 geese at a farm in the Xinhua District of Tainan in southern Taiwan were destroyed Monday after samples from the farm tested positive for a new strain of H5 avian flu virus, according to officials.
Officials of the city's animal protection department said Tuesday that the farm owner reported abnormal deaths of geese on the farm July 1, and disease control experts who were sent to investigate found the remaining geese to be in low spirits and a bit distressed.
The experts took samples from the farm for testing and confirmed July 3 that a new strain of the H5 bird flu RNA virus had spread among the birds.
Animal protection officials followed standard procedure in culling a total of 1,048 geese on the farm and disinfecting the area, according to the department.
Monitoring of three poultry farms within 1 kilometer of the affected farm did not find anything abnormal as of Tuesday afternoon.
The officials said recent afternoon thunderstorms that created high humidity amid high temperatures might have had a negative impact on the geese's immune systems, leaving them less resistant to the virus.
(By Chang Jung-hsiang and S.C. Chang)ENDITEM/J