January 12, 2018 / 12:21 AM / 12 days ago

Japan starts chicken cull after confirming bird flu outbreak

TOKYO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Japan’s western Kagawa prefecture has begun a cull of 91,000 chickens after the discovery of a highly contagious form of bird flu on a farm, the local government said.

The confirmation of the outbreak, which was reported earlier in the week, marked the country’s first cases of bird flu in poultry this winter.

The local government and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said late Thursday that chickens at a farm in the area of Sanuki city in Kagawa had been confirmed testing positive for a highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Japan’s last outbreak of bird flu occurred in March. Between November 2016 and March 2017, a total of 1.67 million chickens were culled due to the H5N6 strain of bird flu, according to the ministry. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; editing by Richard Pullin)

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