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Japan holds emergency meeting on bird flu epidemic
At the gathering of senior farm officials of prefectural governments from across Japan on Saturday, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano warned, "It will deal a blow to local economies if the spread continues." "Please implement thorough guidance to ensure that every farm complies with sanitary control rules", under the law on control of infectious diseases in domestic animals, he said.
In Miyazaki Prefecture
, all the roughly 90,000 broiler chickens had been killed at a poultry farm in the town of Kawaminami by Saturday afternoon, after about 6,600 other chickens at another farm in Nobeoka were culled during the morning, as the season's fourth and fifth bird flu outbreaks in the southwestern Japan prefecture were confirmed earlier in the day.
prefectural government, meanwhile, said it has confirmed that the highly pathogenic H5 virus found on Thursday among chickens at a farm in Toyohashi was highly virulent.
prefectural government said the avian flu virus detected in chickens at a farm in Izumi was the H5N1 strain that is closely related to viruses found in wild cranes wintering in the city.
Following the season's first avian flu outbreak at a Japanese poultry farm last November in Shimane Prefecture
, infections have been confirmed this month at three other farms plus a meat processing center in Miyazaki Prefecture and a farm in Kagoshima Prefecture before Aichi's case, amid the spread of the H5N1 virus among wild birds.
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The Oita prefectural government finished culling about 13,000 chickens at a poultry farm and a meat processing center on Thursday after becoming the fifth Japanese prefecture to be hit by avian influenza this winter.
Oita Prefecture confirmed Wednesday the 11th bird flu outbreak this season in the country after 38 chickens were reported dead. The southwestern prefecture borders Miyazaki Prefecture, where more than 700,000 chickens have been killed with the flu spreading to seven farms in six municipalities.
Elsewhere, Shimane, Aichi and Kagoshima prefectures have so far managed to contain infections to one farm each since the season’s first outbreak in Japan was found in Shimane last November.