Taipei: The current outbreak of bird flu, also known as avian flu, in Taiwan is the most severe experienced in the past decade, the island's agriculture council chief said.
"It is the fastest-spreading, largest outbreak they have seen in 10 years," Xinhua reported Thursday quoting Chen Bao-ji, Taiwan's agriculture council chief as saying.
According to the latest figures released by the agriculture authority, 31 more poultry farms were found to be infected with avian influenza as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, bringing the total number of affected farms on the island to 301.
Poultry culls have been carried out on 186 farms from the island's ten counties. A total of 403,811 infected livestock from these farms have been killed.
The first case in the latest outbreak was confirmed Jan 9 when a chicken farm in Pingtung was found to have been hit by the H5N2 virus.
To prevent the virus from spreading, the agriculture authority has required that all farms infected with the H5 strain of the bird flu virus that have seen a death rate of 20 percent or more within a span of two days will be subject to culling.