The Council of Agriculture (COA) stated yesterday that if any abnormal rates of egg production or poultry slaughter are discovered, perpetrators will be subject to heavy fines.
Those in the agriculture industry were told that any abnormal activity is to be reported immediately to local epidemic protection authorities, and those breaking the rules will not be entitled to government subsidies and will be subject to fines ranging from NT$50,000 (S$2138.50) to NT$1 million, according to a report by the United Evening News.
According to COA statistics, as of Saturday evening, 784 farms across 14 counties had submitted samples to the COA for testing, of which 751 farms tested positive for exposure to an H5 sub-strain.
Local animal epidemic sanitation workers have carried out culling at infected farms and follow-up sterilization work on 722 farms.
The COA claims that over three million birds have been culled since the start of the epidemic.
The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) emphasised that with the recent drop in temperatures it is far easier for bird flu-causing pathogens to be transmitted, therefore increasing the risk of epidemic resurgence.
BAPHIQ requested that poultry farmers take measures to ensure their facilities are properly insulated to withstand winter temperatures.
BAPHIQ gave a reminder that all personnel, trucks, holding facilities and egg processing facilities should be property sterilized to minimise the risk of other animals coming into contact with infected excrement and to improve national bio-security.
BAPHIQ suggested that farmers should check on the condition of their livestock daily to check for abnormal egg production or deaths.
Abandoned Chickens Found in Chiayi
The COA also provided suggested prices for products such as chicken, duck, goose and pork and has already implemented a plan to continuously monitor market supply and pricing.
The COA claims that if there is any unreasonable fluctuation in prices, relevant inspection units will be mobilized to respond to illegal business practices.
A group of abandoned chickens were discovered in Chiayi City on Saturday, the UEN reported.
Local residents who promptly informed authorities said that the chickens were curled up in a small group and appeared to be in a weakened state.
Residents worried that the chicken abandonment was related to recent crackdowns on illegal chicken hoarding activity.
A resident surnamed Wu discovered 10 chickens in the old Yuantung Machinery district.
Wu claimed seeing a man removing the chickens yesterday.
The Chiayi City Economic Development Bureau stated yesterday that the location where the chickens were found is private property and not easily accessible. City personnel did not find the chickens when they searched.
The bureau said there was no evidence the chickens were ill.