More culling in Japan after bird flu strain detected

Tokyo, Feb 5: Authorities in Japan’s Saga province have begun culling more chickens after detecting a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu in dead birds at a farm, the media reported on Sunday. The culling began late Saturday, after the presence of a subtype of the H5 virus was detected at a farm in Kohoku locality.

This is the first time the authorities have detected bird flu in this province since the beginning of the current outbreak in November 2016, which led to the country’s environment ministry declaring a maximum alert in the country, Efe news reported.

Besides Saga, cases have been detected in farms at Niigata, Aomori, Hokkaido, Kumamoto and Miyazaki. The total number of birds culled has already surpassed 1.17 million.

This is the first time the virus has resurfaced in Japan since the beginning of 2014 and it is the worst outbreak since 2011, when some 700,000 birds had to be culled. (IANS)