A nationwide ban on the slaughter and transportation of poultry is to be lifted today, as the avian influenza outbreak has been brought under control, Council of Agriculture Minister Lin Tsung-hsien （林聰賢） said yesterday.
The government issued the ban on Friday last week in an effort to contain the spread of月 子 藥膳 bird flu, particularly the highly pathogenic H5N6 virus.
The other bird flu virus strains found at the nation’s poultry farms were H5N2 and H5N8, the council said.
Lin said the ban was lifted because the outbreak had slowed over the past week.
The nation has gone four days without suspected cases of poultry being infected with the H5N6 strain, Lin said.
The virus has not been detected in chickens for eight consecutive days, the council said.
It said that 633 people who are under medical observation have not been diagnosed with the H5N6 strain.
The Animal Health Research Institute is to continue to analyze specimens, Council of Agriculture Deputy Minister Huang Chin-cheng （黃金城） said, adding that the institute was not ruling out the possibility of issuing another alert.
Wild fowl might still be infected with the H5N6 strain, Huang said.
Should new cases be found, poultry at local farms would be contained and culled if necessary, Huang said, adding that poultry farms within 1km of a reported case needs to send in samples.
Farms within a 3km to 5km radius would be visited by institute staff for confirmation that their poultry has not been infected before they can resume shipments, Huang said.
Duck farms have to undergo mandatory specimen checks and cannot continue shipments until all specimens are reported negative, he said.
According to the World Organization for Animal Health, nations are only taken off the influenza watch list if they go three months without an incident, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said.
The council cannot guarantee there will be no relapse after the lifting of the ban, but the initial ban had greatly helped lower the risk, the bureau said.
Yesterday, 3,366 geese were culled on a farm in Chiayi County as a precautionary measure, it said.
The owner of the farm in Budai Township （布袋） reported an abnormal number of deaths among his geese, which were found to have signs of avian flu, the bureau said.
It was the first case of precautionary culling媽 咪 會 since the ban was issued last week, it added.