Japan culls 14,000 birds after avian flu outbreak
Tokyo, Feb 12 (IANS) About 14,000 birds have been culled in the southern Japan after an avian influenza outbreak was confirmed, local authorities said on Monday.
The bird flu has been confirmed on a poultry farm in the Minamisatsuma City of Kagoshima, according to the prefectural government, adding that the culling operations for it and nearby farms under the same management were completed within a short span, Xinhua news agency reported.
Burial of the culled birds and disinfection of the poultry houses are expected to conclude within the next few days, and the national authorities are expected to determine whether the virus is highly pathogenic.
To prevent further spread of the infection, the prefecture has imposed restrictions on the movement of approximately 363,000 chickens and quails being raised at 15 farms within a radius of 3 km to 10 km from the affected area.
Following genetic testing which confirmed the virus, the prefectural authorities initiated the culling process on Sunday.
The case marks the ninth avian influenza outbreak in the country this season.
The bird flu season in Japan typically begins in October each year. In the last season, Japan saw a record 84 outbreaks of highly pathogenic bird flu at farms in 26 of the country's 47 prefectures, with a record 17.71 million birds culled, leading to an egg shortage and price increases.