Japan to cull 410,000 chickens to fight bird flu
Japan will cull around 410,000 chickens at a major poultry farm in western Miyazaki prefecture to tackle an outbreak of bird flu, an official said on Sunday.
The decision came after about 20 chickens were found dead on Sunday morning at the farm.
Authorities decided to slaughter all the birds kept in the complex to prevent a wider outbreak, a farm ministry official said.
The complex is located a few kilometres from another farm where the slaughter of around 10,000 chickens is already underway.
On Saturday Prime Minister Naoto Kan set up a task force to contain the bird flu outbreak, officials said.
It was the prefecture's first bird flu outbreak since 2007.
In Miyazaki, which is 900 kilometres southwest of Tokyo, a foot-and-mouth outbreak last year forced the slaughter of almost 300,000 farm animals.
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