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Bird flu infection sounds alarm in Japan

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Japan has ordered the slaughter of over 110,000 chickens following the confirmation of bird flu infection at a poultry farm in the south of the country.

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture announced in a Sunday statement that DNA tests confirmed the H5 strain of the virus at a chicken farm in Kumamoto Prefecture after its owner on Saturday reported many sudden deaths among the 56,000 birds it held.

Authorities also ordered the culling of another 56,000 birds at a separate farm run by the same owner after treating it as a location of possible infection, the ministry added.

The reported infection was the first confirmed outbreak of bird flu in Japan in three years.

The Japanese ministry has been warning farmers about infection risks, citing the persisting spread of the disease across Asia, including neighboring South Korea.

Local authorities, meanwhile, banned the transport of chickens from the two affected farms and other farms in the immediate area on Saturday.

Japanese authorities have taken measures to sanitize areas around the two farms. They have also examined birds at farms in the immediate area.

Officials were also setting up areas to disinfect vehicles travelling on major roads around the affected farms in a move to prevent the virus from spreading further.

The Japanese government plans to dispatch a team of officials and experts to the affected farms to identify the cause of the latest infections and to assist local authorities to adopt necessary measures to tackle the issue.


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