By Per Liljas
December 29, 2014

Local authorities in Japan’s Miyazaki prefecture have begun slaughtering 42,000 chickens after dead fowl at a poultry farm tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5 strain of the bird-flu virus.

The case comes less than two weeks after the virus was confirmed at another farm in the same prefecture, prompting the cull of 4,000 birds, Kyodo news agency reports.

Sterilization points have been set up on roads around the newly affected farm. Poultry within a radius of 3 km of the farm cannot be transported and shipments of another 1.93 million birds to areas lying within 10 km of the property have been halted.

“Unlike the first case, the bird flu this time will involve far bigger numbers of chickens and farms. We need to move quickly,” Miyazaki Governor Shunji Kono said on Sunday.

Miyazaki prefecture experienced a mass bird-flu outbreak in 2011, leading to the cull of more than a million chickens.

A prefectural official said it is not clear whether the two recent cases are connected.

[Kyodo]

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