122,000 Chickens Culled at Flu-Hit Japan

Tokyo, The government of Miyazaki Prefecture in southwestern Japan on Tuesday started culling about 122,000 chickens at a poultry farm after a highly virulent strain of bird flu was detected.

Miyazaki has the largest number of broiler chickens among Japan’s 47 prefectures with about 27.4 million as of February, according to the prefectural government.

The farm had reported to a local livestock hygiene service center Monday afternoon that some 100 chickens had been found dead. Five of the dead and two live chickens tested positive for bird flu in a preliminary examination.

Some of the dead chickens later tested positive for a highly virulent strain of avian influenza virus.

The prefectural government banned poultry farms within 3 kilometers from the farm where the virus was detected from moving chickens or eggs based on a law to prevent livestock infections. Nearly 30 poultry farms keep a combined 960,000 chickens in the radius.

Cases of the highly pathogenic H5 virus at poultry farms have been found in Niigata and Aomori prefectures as well as in Hokkaido since November.

The Hokkaido government said Tuesday that work to cull and bury all 280,000 chickens at a farm in the town of Shimizu has been completed after a virus outbreak was detected there.

Source: Qatar News Agency