Bird Flu Outbreak Confirmed in Tochigi Pref.

Politics

Utsunomiya, Tochigi Pref., March 14 (Jiji Press)--The prefectural government of Tochigi, eastern Japan, said Saturday that an outbreak of avian influenza believed to be highly pathogenic has been confirmed at a chicken farm in the town of Haga.

It is the first time that a farm outbreak of such bird flu has been reported in the prefecture this season. Tochigi thus became the 18th Japanese prefecture to confirm such an outbreak.

All chickens at the farm, totaling 77,000, will be killed. The prefectural government urged farms within a 3-kilometer radius of the affected farm not to move their chickens or eggs.

The prefectural government received a report of a possible outbreak from the farm on Saturday morning and obtained positive results through simple testing. Subsequent genetic examinations showed that the viruses are likely to be highly pathogenic strains.

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Jiji Press