In midnight of October 14, 2005, Taiwan Coast Guard Administration confiscated 1,037 birds from a freighter of which the ship staff smuggled the birds from China into Taichung. All the birds were humanely sacrificed on next day and immediately sent to the Animal Health Research Institute for routine diagnosis to find out if they were infected with avian influenza and other concerned diseases. The test results confirmed that those smuggled birds were infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus.
The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) said that Taiwan is currently a HPAI free country. In view of HPAI outbreaks in Asian and European countries, BAPHIQ urged the public not to smuggle fowl and poultry because illegal importation may bring in HPAI and can cause a severe blow to Taiwan's poultry industry, and it may also threaten public health. BAPHIQ said the government has beefed up monitoring of migratory birds, strengthen import quarantine inspection and reminded farm workers to step up preventive measures, including flu vaccination of the workers.
To stop smuggling of birds and poultry is another way to keep Taiwan from being affected. BAPHIQ vowed to cooperate with other government agencies in cracking down on illegal imports of birds and poultry.