TAIPEI, Taiwan — A total of 674 poultry farms around Taiwan have been hit by avian influenza as of Tuesday since the outbreak began in mid-January, according to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine’s latest update on the epidemic.
The farms confirmed as having been affected by bird flu were among 701 goose, duck and chicken farms that have experienced suspicious animal deaths and have been tested for bird flu inflection.
Though the 701 poultry farms that have been tested and the 4.29 million birds they raised account for only a small percentage of Taiwan’s overall poultry industry, the outbreak has dealt a serious blow to the country’s goose farmers.
According to the Council of Agriculture, there were 103 million chicken, geese and ducks raised in Taiwan in the fourth quarter of 2014.
But of the 2.3 million land and water fowl culled to date at 602 farms to prevent the bird flu outbreak from spreading, 1.07 million of them have been geese, the report said, accounting for more than half of the 2 million geese raised in the country.
The infected farms have been located throughout western Taiwan, spanning Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli counties in the north, Changhua, Yunlin and Nantou counties in central Taiwan, and Chiayi and Pingtung counties and the Tainan and Kaohsiung metropolitan areas in the south.
The only poultry farm in Eastern Taiwan hit by the bird flu outbreak was a chicken farm in Taitung County, the bureau said, noting that quarantine measures have been tightened to prevent the flu from spreading.