220,000 more birds culled in Japan

Tokyo, Japanese authorities announced on Friday that some 220,000 more poultry were culled due to an outbreak of bird flu that has reappeared since the end of 2016.

The latest outbreak was detected on a farm in Miyagi prefecture after hundreds of dead chickens were analysed throughout the week and were subsequently found that they were infected with the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5, Efe news reported.

Regional authorities on Friday began slaughtering all the birds on the farm with help from the Japan Self-Defence Forces, a process that will continue until Sunday.

In addition, the transport of birds and eggs within a radius of 10 km around the three affected farms has been prohibited.

According to state broadcaster NHK, Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai said at a press conference that this is the first outbreak of bird flu detected on a farm in this prefecture.

The number of poultry slaughtered in Japan has reached around 1.39 million so far since the bird flu was again detected in the country in November 2016 after the 2014 outbreak, prompting the Environment Ministry to raise the alert to the highest level.