The Shimane prefectural government began destroying about 23,000 chickens on Tuesday at a poultry farm in the prefecture suspected of having Japan’s first bird flu case since early last year.
Facing a possible outbreak of avian flu in western Japan, Prime Minister Naoto Kan vowed in Tokyo to contain the spread of the virus and ordered officials 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, the local government said. It is the first time that culling has begun before the type of avian flu virus was identified, according to the farm ministry.
Five chickens were found dead at the farm on Monday and they tested positive for bird flu in preliminary tests. They may have been infected with the highly virulent H5 strain of avian flu virus.
The governments of Shimane and neighboring Tottori prefectures conducted checks targeting all poultry farms on Tuesday, and the latter started disinfecting vehicles on main roads near the affected farm in the city, which borders Tottori.
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