Japan culls nearly 15 mn birds amid rampant avian flu

February 16, 2023

Tokyo, Feb 16 (IANS) Nearly 15 million birds have been culled in Japan, a record high for a single season, amid an unprecedented spread of bird flu across the country, the farm ministry said Thursday.

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the number of culled birds now stands at 14.78 million, about 50 per cent more than the record 9.87 million logged during the 2020-2021 season, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The figure hiked as the disease hit large chicken farms, including one in Misawa City, Aomori Prefecture, where about 1.39 million birds were culled in December.

Ministry data showed that 76 bird flu outbreaks have been confirmed at poultry farms and elsewhere in 25 prefectures since the first cases were reported in October last year in Okayama Prefecture and Hokkaido.

The ministry warned that risks are increasing throughout the country, noting that this season the avian flu is spreading in six prefectures that had never seen outbreaks before, such as Yamagata and Okinawa.

Japan’s bird flu season usually runs from autumn and winter to spring next year.

–IANS

int/svn/

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