Japan: Thousands of chickens culled in bird flu outbreaks
Japan has begun slaughtering thousands of chickens in the country's largest poultry farming area in an effort to contain an outbreak of bird flu.
Japan's agriculture ministry confirmed on Wednesday, outbreaks of bird flu in a poultry farm in Kagoshima Prefecture, after Miyazaki reported cases of the flu last week.
8,600 chickens have been culled in Kagoshima prefecture with the two earlier outbreaks in the adjacent prefecture of Miyazaki, leading to a total of 420,000 being slaughtered.
This is Japan's third bird flu outbreak at a poultry farm this year with authorities and farmers now worrying the disease may spread further. Authorities have banned any movement of 5.22 million chickens and eggs kept in the area within 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) from the outbreak point in Kagoshima prefecture, authorities said.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan has reportedly set up a special force to introduce necessary measures to contain the bird flu virus.
Miyazaki agricultural official Masuhiro Nozaki reportedly confirmed the ongoing operation of H5N1 tests to verify most cases and has decided to deploy 170 ground troops to Miyazaki to support local authorities contain the spread of bird flu.
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