Japan to Cull 20,000 Chickens After First Bird-Flu Outbreak Since 2009
Japan will cull about 20,000 chickens at a farm in the western prefecture of Shimane after the country’s first case of avian influenza since 2009 was discovered by the government today.
The government has asked the farm operator, which also raises about 3,300 chicks, not to move the birds out of the area to contain the disease, Yuji Kawakami at Shimane Prefecture’s livestock office said today by phone. The owner of the egg- laying chicken farm in Yasugi city found five dead birds yesterday, he said.
The government has asked farms within a radius of 10 kilometers from the Yasugi farm not to move birds, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
“Preventing the spread of bird flu is important from the standpoint of crisis management,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku told reporters in Tokyo today.
Japan raised a total of 178 million egg-laying chickens and 107 million broilers as of Feb. 1, 2009, the latest data from the ministry show. A broiler is a commercial-grade young chicken typically seven weeks old at the time it is killed, the most common type of chicken available in supermarkets.
Japan culled about 288,000 pigs, cows and cattle this year to contain the nation’s first outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease since 2000. It is the worst loss Japan’s livestock industry has ever sustained, according to the ministry. The disease was discovered in the southern prefecture of Miyazaki in April.
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