Kumamoto finishes culling 93,000 chickens at scene of latest bird flu outbreak

Kyodo

The Kumamoto Prefectural Government finished culling around 93,000 chickens at a poultry farm Wednesday after tests confirmed Japan’s latest bird flu outbreak.

The farm in the town of Nankan reported to health authorities on Monday afternoon that a group of some 50 chickens was found dead there. Five of the carcasses and two live chickens from the farm tested positive for bird flu in a preliminary examination.

In the culling that began early Tuesday morning, as many as 450 personnel, including members of the Self-Defense Forces, were involved at one point.

As required by law, the prefectural government conducted on-site inspections at six farms within 3 km of the affected farm. It also contacted all other poultry farms in Kumamoto but did not find any further suspected flu infections.

The prefectural government nonetheless restricted the transfer of 147,000 birds and their eggs at farms within 3 km of the outbreak.

Nineteen more farms located outside the 3-km limit but within 10 km of the affected farm have been prohibited from taking their 960,000 birds outside the ring. One of the farms is in neighboring Fukuoka Prefecture.

A slew of bird flu outbreaks have been reported since last month. Authorities in Hokkaido, Aomori, Niigata and Miyazaki prefectures have culled livestock to contain the disease.

Kumamoto Prefecture experienced a bird flu outbreak in April 2014, and 112,000 chickens were culled at a farm in the town of Taragi.