A passenger attempting to smuggle thirty-eight birds into Taiwan was intercepted at Taoyuan International airport. The birds were tested and found positive for HPAI H5N1, the World Organisation for Animal Health reports.
The passenger was en route to Taiwan, travelling from Macau. The birds were euthanised immediately, and sent to Taiwan’s National Lab at the Animal Health Research Institute for testing.
The smuggled birds tested positive for H5N1 HPAI virus and HAO cleavage sequencing showed high pathogenicity. All staff that had had contact with the birds are being monitored by the Health Authority.
Under the OIE Terrestrial Code, this event does not affect the current H5N1 HPAI-free status of Taiwan, and the issue is declared resolved.