Malaysia has reported its first outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) for almost 10 years. Affected were a village chickens in a backyard in Kelantan, in the north of the country, bordering Myanmar. The H5N1 virus was detected in this flock, according to the report sent by the department of veterinary services to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
The animal health agencies in South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam have reported further HPAI cases in poultry in the last week.
South Korea: avian flu set to disrupt chicken supplies for six months
Since the first case of HPAI was detected in November of 2016, South Korea has culled more than 33 million poultry to bring the disease under control, according to the Yonhap news agency.
With poultry movement restrictions in place, around half of the country’s farmers have been unable to source chicks for the next growing cycle, and supplies of locally produced chickens are tight. Data from the country’s broiler farmers’ association indicate producer prices are almost 60 percent higher than a year ago at 2,690 won (KRW; US$2.35) per kilo, while the retail price has risen 3 percent to KRW5,710 (US$4.98).
The Korean Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp. does not expect consumer prices for chicken to stabilize for a further six months.
Taiwan: 88 farms affected, 740,000 poultry culled
The latest report from the Council of Agriculture puts the total number of poultry farms where the HPAI virus has been detected since the start of this year at 88, reports Focus Taiwan. The H5N2 virus has been found at the majority of these locations. At 12 farms, there was the H5N6 variant, which is a greater concern as it is more virulent and can be transmitted from the birds to people.
Over the last week, the agriculture ministry in Taipei has reported to the OIE 26 new HPAI outbreaks. One of these involved the detection of one of three virus variants – H5N2, H5N6 or H5N8 – in birds arriving at a poultry slaughterhouse, but one of the viruses was detected on farms in all other cases, following the observation of abnormal mortalities. A total of more than 305,000 poultry – mostly native chickens but also ducks, geese and one broiler breeder flock – died or were culled following the detection of the viruses.
Five new HPAI outbreaks in Vietnam
The Vietnamese animal health agency has reported five new outbreaks of HPAI in poultry to the OIE, involving 8,630 birds in backyard flocks in the north and south of the country.
At four of the locations, the H5N1 subtype of the virus was detected, while the H5N6 variant was found in the fifth outbreak flock.