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Japan’s bird flu outbreak spreads to third prefecture

Avian influenza has been detected on a farm site in a third Japanese prefecture, marking the country’s worst bird flu outbreak in more than four years.

26 November 2020, at 8:33am

Reuters reports that avian influenza was discovered at an egg farm in Awaji city in Hyogo prefecture west of Tokyo, which is near Kagawa prefecture where the first infections were discovered in poultry earlier this month, the agriculture ministry said on its website.

The 146,000 chickens at the Hyogo farm will be slaughtered and buried, while movement in a 3 km (1.8 mile) radius around the farm will be restricted.

The new action means more than 1.8 million chickens will have been culled since the latest outbreak began.

The government said on Wednesday 25 November it had detected an outbreak of bird flu on a chicken farm in southwestern Fukuoka prefecture, adding to the eight already reported in Kagawa prefecture west of Tokyo.

Japan's last outbreak of bird flu was in January 2018, also in Kagawa prefecture, when 91,000 chickens were culled.

The last big outbreak was between November 2016 and March 2017, when a total of 1.67 million chickens were culled due to the H5N6 strain of bird flu.

Read more about this story here.