Ninth case of bird flu confirmed

MIYAZAKI (Kyodo) The dead chickens at a poultry farm in the town of Takanabe in Miyazaki Prefecture were killed by the deadly avian flu virus, local officials confirmed early Monday as the epidemic continued to spread.

The results of detailed tests on the dead birds in Takanabe confirm the season’s sixth outbreak in the prefecture and the ninth in the country.

On Monday, the prefectural government started culling all 40,000 chickens at the farm, adding it will also impose a ban on transporting chickens and eggs from poultry farms within 10 km of it.

Some 90 chickens were found dead Sunday at the farm, and four out of the five tested registered positive in preliminary bird flu tests.

More than 500,000 chickens have already been culled in the prefecture since Jan. 22 after infections struck the cities of Miyazaki and Nobeoka and the towns of Shintomi, Tsuno and Kawaminami.