Taipei, Feb. 18 (CNA) More than 32,500 free-range chickens on a farm in Changhua County have been culled after the farm was confirmed to be infected with the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza virus, an official from the county's Animal Disease Control Center (ADCC) said Monday.
ADCC Director Tung Meng-chih (董孟治) said the birds were exterminated and disinfectant work carried out at the farm after the test results came back a day earlier.
Suspicion of an avian influenza outbreak arose after 340 chickens on the farm died within a relatively short space of time.
In wake of the latest cull, Tung reminded farmers that if they discover their poultry showing symptoms such as swollen faces, bleeding from the eyes and nostrils, and other signs of disease to proactively contact their local animal disease control centers.
According to statistics provided by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ), four other poultry farms across the country have been affected by the H5N2 avian influenza virus so far this year, including two chicken farms and one duck farm in Yunlin County, and one duck farm in Pingtung County.
BAPHIQ statistics also show that a total of 93 poultry farms were hit by H5N2 in 2018.
H5N2, a subtype of the influenza A virus, is known to infect a wide variety of birds, including chickens, ducks, turkeys and ostriches.