Japan confirms this season's first bird flu outbreak, culling 143,000 chickens
The agricultural ministry said on Wednesday that Japan has discovered its first outbreak of bird flu for the 2021 winter season, with the confirmation of a case of "highly pathogenic avian influenza" at a poultry farm in the country's northeast.
This is the first reported avian influenza outbreak in the country this season.
The farm's 143,000 birds will be slaughtered.
The prefecture has asked that troops from the Self-Defense Forces be dispatched to assist.
By Thursday, all poultry within a 500-meter radius of the farm are anticipated to be slaughtered.
Another test is being conducted at a duck farm in the same area after a suspected case was discovered.
Following the outbreak of bird flu, the Japanese government convened a meeting of key cabinet ministers on Wednesday morning, with participants pledging to take all necessary precautions to limit the spread of diseases.
Last year, Japan saw its worst winter flu season on farms yet, with 9.87 million hens slaughtered and more than a third of the country's prefectures afflicted.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Japan has an egg-laying flock of roughly 181 million chickens and a broiler population of 140 million.