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City Strengthens Defense against Bird Flu

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced it will beef up disinfection effort at the city’s 14 parks and venues frequented by birds and dispatch personnel to warn the public against feeding birds starting January 12.

The measures are taken to prevent the spread of the disease following the confirmation of two avian influenza cases at a Pingtung County chicken farm (H5N2) and a Chiayi County goose farm (H5N8) respectively in the past week. It is the first time Taiwan has reported the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus, the Council of Agriculture pointed out.

According to DEP, feeding birds in public spaces could lead to pollution from left food and bird droppings on the ground. With the island on high alert for the outbreak of avian flu, close contact with birds can also increase chances of human infection.

In light of this, signs have been put up at the city’s 14 parks where birds gather in great numbers (including CKS Memorial Hall) to caution against feeding wild doves. Violators will be fined between NT$1,200 and NT$6,000 in compliance with Article 27 of Waste Disposal Act.

In addition, DEP will also carry out sterilization at the above-mentioned places, nearby gutters, sidewalk benches, garbage bins, etc., to prevent the spread of the avian influenza.