TAIWAN - More than 25,000 geese at 11 farms in three regions have been culled over the last two days after testing positive for the H5N8 or H5N2 variants of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus.
Taiwanese authorities have slaughtered thousands more geese on farms around the country as they scrambled to bring an avian flu outbreak under control, reports Focus Taiwan.
A total of 6,767 geese from seven goose farms in Yunlin County, 3,057 geese from two farms in Chiayi County, and 2,100 geese from two farms in Taoyuan City were culled on 13 and 14 January after testing positive for H5N8 avian influenza virus or a new variant of H5N2, according to local government officials.
Liao Pei-chih, head of Yunlin County's Animal and Plant Disease Control Center, said his county had slaughtered 6,767 geese and destroyed 6,661 eggs by early today, 14 January, after the seven farms were found on 13 January to have tested positive for the two viruses.
Over 5,200 geese in the county had already been culled on 11 January, Mr Liao said.
Of the 407 geese farms in Yunlin County, 34 have had samples tested and 11 of them have tested positive for the viruses, according to statistics from the center.
Weng Yu-chu, head of Chiayi County's Livestock Disease Control Center, said that in addition to the 3,057 geese culled in Chiayi on 13 January, geese from two more farms there will be slaughtered the following day.
Chen Jen-hsin, head of Taoyuan City's Office of Animal Care and Control, told Focus Taiwan his city completed the culling of 2,100 geese on 14 January, and the 3,194 geese previously slaughtered have been frozen for further testing.
On 14 January, Focus Taiwan reports, an emergency operations centre had been established under the Executive Yuan in a bid to contain the avian influenza that had spread from poultry farms in southern Taiwan to central and northern areas of the country in the last couple of days.
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