The Niigata Prefectural Government completed the culling of 540,000 chickens at two poultry farms Sunday to contain an outbreak of the highly virulent H5 strain of bird flu.

About 230,000 chickens were killed at a farm in Joetsu, following the completion of a similar procedure to eradicate 310,000 chickens in the village of Sekikawa last week.

The outbreak has triggered restrictions on the transport of chickens and eggs within a 10-km radius of each poultry farm. Four farms in Sekikawa and two in Joetsu have resumed shipment of eggs and other products after passing inspection tests in accordance with national rules on epidemic prevention.

Further north in Aomori Prefecture, meanwhile, a culling operation to eliminate 4,720 ducks at a farm outside the capital was completed Saturday after it and another farm nearby were also found infected by the H5 strain. The Aomori Municipal Government had already culled 18,000 ducks at the latter farm.

The Aomori Prefectural Government has restricted traffic on a road connecting the farms and is disinfecting vehicles within a 10-km radius of them.