Japan Culls 40,000 Birds After 1st Avian Flu Outbreak of Season Reported

Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP

TOKYO, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- About 40,000 birds were culled in southern Japan on Sunday after a highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak was confirmed, marking the first reported case of avian influenza in Japan during the autumn and winter season this year.

A highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak has been confirmed on a farm in Kashima City of the southern Japanese prefecture of Saga, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan announced on Saturday.

According to a press release from the ministry Saturday, the affected farm housed approximately 40,000 laying hens.

Preventive measures were taken including culling all 40,000 birds on the affected farm, while the transportation of poultry and egg products within a 10 km radius of the outbreak's epicenter from the affected farm to areas outside the designated zone was restricted.

The movement, which involved about 255,000 birds at 12 poultry farms, came after genetic testing confirmed that the dead birds at the affected farm were infected with the H5 subtype of avian influenza.

The bird flu season in Japan typically begins in October each year. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida requested that relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, collaborate closely and swiftly implement thorough preventive measures to cope with avian influenza infection.

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