Japan’s Agriculture Ministry has ordered the culling of around 112,000 chickens in Kumamoto Prefecture after it was confirmed that a poultry farm has been infected with the bird flu virus. The H5 strain has been detected in the farm through DNA tests on six chickens after the owner reported a high number of deaths among their poultry in what is the first confirmed outbreak in the country in three years.
In addition to that, around 56,000 chickens at another farm run by the owner are also to be culled to make sure that the infection did not spread. Local authorities meanwhile banned the transfer of chickens from the two farms, as well as other nearby ones, while authorities are continuing the sanitation of the areas around the affected farms. The vehicles that have traveled through the roads around the farms will also be disinfected in an area being set up by officials.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters that they are closely coordinating with related ministries and coming up with practical steps to stop the outbreak. Kumamoto Gov. Ikuo Kabashima said they are mobilizing around 1,000 personnel to deal with the situation “promptly and unfailingly.” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga immediately called for a meeting with selected ministers on the order of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who wants them to use the proper disease control measures to prevent the virus from spreading further.
[ via Kyodo News ]