Japan Mobilizes SDF Troops to Fight Bird Flu Outbreak

Self-Defense Forces troops were mobilized Monday to help fight an outbreak of avian influenza at a poultry farm in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan.    

Some 200 personnel from the Ground SDF’s eighth division based in the city of Kumamoto helped cull chickens and bury them underground at the request of the prefectural government.   

The move came after the H5 subtype virus was detected Sunday in broilers that died at the farm in the town of Taragi, the first outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu in the country in three years.   

A total of about 112,000 chickens are slated to be culled at the farm as well as another farm in the Kumamoto prefecture village of Sagara run by the same farmer.   

The prefectural government on Sunday conducted an investigation into approximately 230 poultry farms in the prefecture breeding more than 100 chickens in total. As a result, no problem was found at them except for the one in question, officials said Monday.