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Japan to cull 23,000 chickens in bird flu scare

The Shimane prefectural government in Japan plans to begin destroying 23,000 chickens at a poultry farm suspected of having Japan's first bird flu case since early last year.

In face of a possible resurgence of avian flu in western Japan, Prime Minister Naoto Kan vowed in Tokyo to contain the spread of the virus and ordered officials concerned to do everything in their power for "domestic crisis management."

The operation at the farm in the city of Yasugi is expected to take two to three days, according to the local government.

Five chickens were found dead at the farm on Monday morning and they tested positive for bird flu in preliminary tests.  If an avian flu infection is confirmed, the movement of chickens and eggs will be restricted within a 10-kilometer radius of the affected farm.

Checks will be continued in the region and vehicles will be disinfected on main roads near the affected farm in the city, which borders Tottori.

Editor WorldPoultry

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