News update:Jan 17, 2007

UPDATE: Japan incinerates 12,000 chickens in response to bird flu outbreak

The Japanese government confirmed the outbreak after 3,900 chickens were found dead at the farm in the prefecture, 900 km southwest of Tokyo.

Agricultural officials of the prefecture culled the remaining 8,100 chickens. Local authorities in Japan began incinerating 12,000 dead chickens on the farm as part of efforts to stop the spread of a recent bird flu outbreak. It is still not clear if the outbreak involved the H5N1 strain, which is potentially deadly to humans.
"We will proceed by giving the utmost care to safety so as not to cause any fear to residents in the area," Kazuo Kuroiwa, an agriculture official of Miyazaki prefecture. Officials put the farm under a massive sanitation program while ordering 11 other poultry farms within a 10-kilometer (six-mile) radius not to move chickens and eggs.
Additionally, the Hong Kong government banned all poultry imports from Japan. Hong Kong, which was the scene of the world's first reported major bird flu outbreak among humans in 1997, imported some 1,800 mt of frozen poultry products from Japan from January to September last year.
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