Over 100,000 Birds Perish from Bird Flu Outbreak In ChinaNew outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8 and H5N2 variants) have been reported to the OIE this week. All but one of the outbreaks was in domestic poultry (mostly geese but also chickens and turkeys). A total of almost 295,000 birds were affected, including 100,000 deaths. The Taiwanese animal health authority has sent two new reports covering new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). There were five new outbreaks of H5N8 avian influenza on poultry farms between 6 and 12 February following abnormal mortalities in Yunlin and Chiayi counties and Tainan City.  One of the farms had turkeys, while the other outbreaks were in geese. In total, 24,790 birds were involved; 4,676 birds died and 20,114 have been culled.  Thirty further outbreaks have been confirmed with the H5N2 variant of the virus as the cause. The outbreaks started between 19 January and 12 February. One of the outbreaks was in a wild bird, found dead in Taitung City in the south-east of Taiwan. The affected bird was a black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax; Ardeidae). Abnormal mortalities were also observed on 29 poultry farms – mostly geese but also some chickens and native chickens – in the counties of Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi and Pingtung as well as Tainan City. A total of 269,894 birds were affected, of which 95,908 died and 168,686 have been or will be culled.  In all cases, the farms have been put under movement restrictions. Thorough cleaning and disinfection will be conducted after the stamping-out operation. Surrounding poultry farms within a three-kilometre radius of infected farms will remain under intensified surveillance for three months. THE POULTRY SITE