• Kyodo

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Bird flu has been detected at a chicken farm in the western prefecture of Shiga, its local government said Sunday, prompting authorities to start culling around 11,000 chickens.

The H5 strain made Shiga the 10th Japanese prefecture to experience an avian flu outbreak this year. All cases have been centered in western Japan.

The farm in Higashiomi on Saturday reported to the local government that over 50 chickens had died. A polymerase chain reaction test in the early hours Sunday following a preliminary test on Saturday confirmed H5 virus infection, according to the Shiga government.

There are six other chicken farms containing about 58,000 chickens within a 10-kilometer-radius of the affected farm, according to the local government.

The Shiga government set up some movement control points in the 10-kilometer radius to disinfect vehicles transiting the area, according to the government. An exclusion zone within a 3-kilometer radius of the affected farm was set up to prohibit the transport of eggs and chickens.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries held a meeting on epidemic prevention measures Sunday with officials pledging to support the Shiga government in tackling the bird flu outbreak, according to the ministry.

The first case this year was reported in Kagawa Prefecture in early November, followed by Fukuoka, Hyogo, Miyazaki, Nara, Hiroshima, Wakayama, Oita and Okayama prefectures.

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