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Japan to cull about 330,000 chickens in Aomori Prefecture over bird flu – Administration

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Tokyo: Around 330,000 chickens will be culled in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture due to a new outbreak of bird flu, the local administration said on Friday.

“On March 23, the relevant structures received a message about an increase in the number of dead birds on one of the farms. After testing for the presence of the bird flu virus, the results of 11 out of 13 birds were positive,” the administration said in a statement, adding that about 330,000 chickens will be culled.

The authorities introduced a quarantine for the transportation of chickens and eggs within a radius of a 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) zone around the farm. In addition, the authorities will disinfect the farm and equipment.

This is the third outbreak of bird flu this season in Aomori Prefecture.

Taking into account the latest outbreaks, the number of chickens culled in Japan this season has already exceeded 15 million, which is an all-time high for the country. Since October 28, bird flu has been detected in 25 out of 47 prefectures of the country. In addition, the virus has caused the price of chicken eggs — already high amid inflation and soaring prices for food products — to spike to its 29-year peak.

Bird flu is a highly contagious virus that can cause influenza in birds and result in their deaths. In a period from the fall 2020 to spring 2021, Japan suffered the largest avian influenza outbreak in the country’s history. The virus affected more than a third of the nation’s prefectures, with about 10 million chickens culled in more than 50 farms.

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