• Kyodo

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About 4,000 chickens will be destroyed at a poultry farm in Ibara, Okayama Prefecture, after some 600 other birds died in an outbreak of Newcastle disease, a highly contagious disease among birds, prefectural government sources said Saturday.

The birds to be destroyed were in the same building as the 600 that died and will be killed to prevent the disease from spreading. The farm has about 12,000 chickens, they said.

The outbreak was discovered after a livestock-health hygiene center found a hen breathing abnormally during an inspection on Tuesday, according to the sources.

No abnormalities have been found among chickens at poultry farms nearby, they added.

Newcastle disease is a destructive virus affecting birds, especially domestic fowl. It affects the digestive, respiratory and nervous systems. It is not contagious to humans.

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