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Homeland Security

Taiwan bans import of live birds, eggs from Belgium due to bird flu

ROC Central News Agency

11/27/2020 06:53 PM

Taipei, Nov. 27 (CNA) Starting Friday, the importation of live birds and their eggs from Belgium is banned, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) under the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture announced that day.

The ban has been introduced after Belgium's food safety agency AFSCA reported an outbreak of avian influenza dominated by a subtype of the highly pathogenic H5 virus at a poultry farm in West Flanders, the bureau said in a statement.

To prevent the virus from spreading to Taiwan, the council has removed Belgium from its list of bird flu-free territories around the world.

As a result, live birds and their eggs used for breeding purpose that were ready to be shipped on Friday and later can no longer be sent to Taiwan, the BAPHIQ said in a press release.

Taiwan has not yet opened its doors to poultry meat and products from Belgium, the bureau noted.

According to BAPHIQ statistics, since 2018 Taiwan has imported 16,642 live birds from the European nation.

Meanwhile, the bureau advised local poultry farm operators to step up their efforts to protect against bird flu amid the wintering season for migrant birds, after reported avian flu outbreaks in Japan, South Korea, China and Russia, as well as the European countries of Belgium, Poland, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden since October.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Elizabeth Hsu)

Enditem/AW



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