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Avian influenza has returned to Taiwan after a two-month absence. | Andrea Gantz
on July 25, 2016

Avian influenza returns to Taiwan

H5N8 avian influenza detected in Taiwan after a two-month absence

After a two-month period free of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the veterinary authority in Taiwan has reported three new outbreaks of the disease in poultry in late June and early July to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Two of these related to batches of native chickens, which showed “suspicious signs” in mortalities at slaughterhouses in Taipei and Kaohsiung. A 2,230-bird goose flock near Tainan City also experienced unexpected deaths. In all 3 outbreaks, the presence of the H5N8 subtype of the virus was confirmed.

According to a new report in The Hindu, the Indian state of Goa as imposed a ban on imports of poultry products from Karnataka, citing the outbreak of HPAI in Bidar district in May. No more recent outbreaks in the area have been reported officially.

No new outbreaks reported in Africa

Following the confirmation of numerous HPAI outbreaks chicken farms in Cameroon, the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) warned governments of Western and Central African countries to be vigilant, and to continue their raised surveillance and prevention efforts.

Since then, no countries in Africa have reported HPAI outbreaks in poultry. Indeed, the situation appears to be easing in Cameroon, where a total of 17 HPAI outbreaks caused by the H5N1 variant of the virus and involving more than 67,000 poultry were officially reported to the OIE in late May and early June.

Earlier bans on the sale of chicken in the Southern and Western region have been lifted, according to Business in Cameroon. This is a significant move as the restrictions had covered the districts of Mifi and Koung-khi, where 80 percent of the country’s poultry are produced. Furthermore, all poultry will in future have to be sold at markets approved as sanitary by the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries (Minepia).

While welcoming this partial opening of the market, poultry farmers remain concerned that the chicken sale ban remains in place in the capital, Douala, which is a hub for products for other parts of Cameroon as well as neighboring countries.

In Cameroon’s Central region, the process of destocking, cleaning and disinfecting poultry facilities is underway, the same source reported last week. This will be followed by a period of one month during which the houses remain empty, leaving the ban on chicken sales in place in this area until at least mid-August.

Other African countries affected by HPAI recently – namely Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria – have not reported new outbreaks of the disease to the OIE. 

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