• Jiji

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New cases of avian influenza believed to be of a highly pathogenic strain have been confirmed at poultry farms in both Chiba and Miyazaki prefectures, their prefectural governments announced on Sunday.

Chiba Prefecture decided to cull all of some 1.15 million chickens raised at the affected farm in the town of Tako to prevent the spread of the virus and requested the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces for help to complete task swiftly.

This is the seventh bird flu outbreak at a farm in Chiba since December last year, following an outbreak confirmed at a farm in the nearby city of Asahi only on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the 11th farm bird flu case in Miyazaki this season hit a poultry facility in the town of Shintomi. The prefectural government is culling all of around 240,000 chickens raised there. The facility is located only about 500 meters away from a farm where the viral outbreak occurred in late January.

Restrictions have been imposed on the transfers of eggs and chickens from all farms within 10 kilometers of the facilities newly hit by the disease in the two prefectures.

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