Bird Flu Spreads to Okayama; 640,000 Chickens to Be Culled

Politics Society

Okayama, Dec. 11 (Jiji Press)--The Okayama prefectural government announced Friday an outbreak of avian influenza believed to be highly pathogenic at a chicken farm in the city of Mimasaka in the western Japan prefecture.

All chickens at the farm, totaling about 640,000 heads, will be culled to stem the spread of the infection. The culling will be one of the largest in a single bird flu outbreak case in Japan this year.

It is the first time this year that the disease was found at a chicken farm in Okayama, which became the ninth prefecture in Japan to report a farm outbreak of bird flu apparently of a highly pathogenic strain following the western and southwestern Japan prefectures of Kagawa, Fukuoka, Hyogo, Miyazaki, Nara, Hiroshima, Oita and Wakayama.

After receiving a report of suspected bird flu infection at the farm in Mimasaka on Thursday, the Okayama government conducted simple tests and found positive cases there. Genetic tests found Friday morning that the bird flu is very likely to be highly pathogenic.

The prefectural government requested the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces troops for help to cull the chickens. The culling work has started.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press