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Monday, January 30, 2023

Japan to cull about 100,000 chickens following new bird flu outbreak – Ministry

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Tokyo: About 100,000 chickens will be culled in Japan due to a new outbreak of bird flu, registered in Miyazaki Prefecture on Tuesday, the Agriculture Ministry said.

The disease was suspected on Monday when egg farm employees in the city of Kawaminami found dead laying hens. Further genetic analysis has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza.

The authorities imposed a ban on the transportation of chickens and eggs within a 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) radius around the outbreak hot spots as well as prohibited the export of chickens and eggs outside a 10-kilometer radius.

Experts explain the outbreak by the fact that migrating birds have returned earlier than usual this year and infection was spreading fast across regions. Bird flu has caused the price of chicken eggs — already high amid inflation and soaring prices for food products — to spike to its 29-year peak.

The first cases of avian influenza in Japan were detected in October 2022. According to the Japanese Agriculture Ministry, a record 10.08 million chickens have been culled in the country since the beginning of fall amid spread of bird flu. The previous record was set when 9.87 birds were culled between November 2020 and March 2021.

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