Japan To Cull 135,000 Chickens In Saitama Prefecture Over Bird Flu - Agriculture Ministry

Japan to Cull 135,000 Chickens in Saitama Prefecture Over Bird Flu - Agriculture Ministry

TOKYO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 01st February, 2023) Around 135,000 chickens will be culled in Japan's Saitama Prefecture due to a bird flu outbreak, the 71st case in the country this season, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced on Wednesday.

"The presence of a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus was confirmed today at a farm in Saitama Prefecture. It is the 71st case this season, and 135,000 chickens will be culled. An investigation was carried out due to the increase in the death of birds. Tests turned out positive for avian influenza. Genetic analysis confirmed the presence of a highly pathogenic strain," the ministry said.

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 epicenter of infection. In addition, the export of chickens and eggs outside the 10-kilometer zone was also prohibited.

Taking into account the latest outbreaks, the number of chickens culled in Japan this season has already exceeded 12 million, which is an all-time high for the country. Experts explain the outbreak by the fact that migrating birds have returned earlier than usual this year, which resulted in a rapid spread of infections 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.

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.