Bird Flu Outbreak Reported in Japan

JAPAN - More than 110,000 chickens on two farms have been culled as the result of an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the south of the country.
calendar icon 14 April 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

Japan has ordered the slaughter of some 112,000 chickens after officials confirmed on Sunday bird flu infections at a poultry farm in the south, reports the Straits Times.

Tests have confirmed the H5 strain of the virus at a farm in Kumamoto prefecture on the island of Kyushu that kept 56,000 birds, after its owner reported on 12 April a number of sudden deaths among his birds, the agriculture ministry said in a statement.

Officials also ordered the culling of another 56,000 birds at a separate farm run by the same owner after treating it as a location of possible infections, the ministry said.

It was the first confirmed outbreak of bird flu in Japan in three years.

According to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), 200 birds died from the affected flock of 56,400 broilers on 11 April.

Infection with H5 influenza A virus in poultry was confirmed on 13 April 2014 in Kumamoto prefecture. On 12 April 2014, local veterinary officers visited the farm immediately after notification from the owner.

Increase of the mortality was recognised and the local veterinary service centre in the prefecture (Kumamoto Livestock Hygiene Centre) confirmed that samples from dead birds were influenza A virus positive by antigen-capture kits. On the same day, the centre started RT-PCR test and confirmed that the subtype was H5 on 13 April. The samples are to be sent to the National Institute of Animal Health for virus isolation and HI test.

Movement restrictions are imposed on the farms within the radius of 3km of the affected farm. Shipment restrictions are imposed on the farms within the radius of 3km to 10km of the affected farm. Stamping-out policy is applied to the affected farm and epidemiologically related farms.

Destruction of all the susceptible birds in the affected farm and epidemiologically related farms will be completed on 13 April 2014.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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