• Kyodo


Kumamoto Gov. Ikuo Kabashima declared Thursday that the avian influenza that ravaged chickens at a poultry farm in the prefecture in April has been successfully contained.

“The prefectural government’s rapid response and strong efforts to contain the virus have led us to declare an end” to the outbreak, Kabashima said at a meeting of local authorities. “I express my appreciation to those who worked all night.”

Kabashima allocated ¥71 million in an extra budget to help the affected farms and take countermeasures against communicable diseases, including ¥5 million in subsidies to farms that were prevented or asked to refrain from shipping poultry and eggs to market.

A farm in the town of Taragi reported a surge in chicken deaths to the prefectural government on April 12, prompting the culling of 112,000 birds in the following days.

A gene analysis of the virus, which was later identified as the H5N8 variant, showed that it is more than 99 percent identical to one that has spread in South Korea since January, according to the farm ministry.

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