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Japan culls 330,000 chickens after bird flu outbreak

Japan has recorded its first bird flu outbreak in poultry in more than two years.

5 November 2020, at 8:14am

Reuters reports that officials are moving to cull 330,000 chickens at a farm site in Kagawa prefecture.

Chickens at a farm in Mitoyo, a city in western Kagawa prefecture, tested positive in a preliminary examination for avian influenza on Thursday 5 November, officials from the agriculture ministry and the prefecture said.

The government will conduct further genetic tests to confirm whether the infection was a highly pathogenic strain of H5 bird flu or a lowly pathogenic one, the agriculture ministry official said.

The farm in question had notified the prefectural government of a suspected bird flu outbreak on Wednesday 4 November. About 3,800 chickens died in the four days through Wednesday, Kyodo News reported.

Japan's last outbreak of bird flu occurred in January 2018, when 91,000 chickens at a farm in Sanuki city, also in Kagawa prefecture, were culled due to the H5N6 strain of bird flu, according to the ministry.

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