Quarantine official Huang Tze-chung said Tuesday that people who illegally disposed of dead birds infected with H5N6 avian flu could be fined NT$50,000 to NT$1 million (US$1,600-US$33,000). The announcement came after more than 20 bags of discarded dead ducks were discovered in Chiayi on Tuesday.
Cases of H5N6 bird flu have been reported in five counties including Yunlin, Chiayi, Tainan, Yilan and Hualien. H5N6 is a highly contagious strain of avian flu that has caused human fatalities in China.
Huang said more fines could be imposed if dead fowl are discarded in rivers. Huang also said prison sentences of up to five years could be imposed in the most serious cases.
The quarantine bureau said it will increase its inspections on illegal culling from twice per month to three to four times per month. The bureau also encouraged whistleblowers and raised culling subsidies for poultry farmers who notify the bureau of their diseased fowl.
Source: Radio Taiwan International
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