• Kyodo

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Bird flu has been detected at a chicken farm in Hiroshima Prefecture, the local government said Monday, prompting it to start culling around 134,000 chickens at the site and other affiliated farms.

The H5 strain, which is yet to be confirmed as a highly pathogenic type, made Hiroshima the sixth prefecture to experience an avian flu outbreak this season. All of the cases have been centered in western Japan.

The farm in Mihara on Sunday reported to the local government that a number of chickens had died. A polymerase chain reaction test in the early hours Monday following a preliminary test earlier confirmed H5 virus infection, according to the Hiroshima government.

There are about 40 chicken farms in the city, containing some 760,000 chickens in total, the government said.

Several movement control points were set up around the affected farms to disinfect vehicles moving through the areas, while Hiroshima Gov. Hidehiko Yuzaki requested the deployment of Self-Defense Force troops to help with culling.

The first case this year was reported in Kagawa Prefecture in early November, followed by Fukuoka, Hyogo, Miyazaki and Nara prefectures. All of the local governments carried out massive culls of chickens in and around infected farms.

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