About 680,000 Chickens To Be Culled In Niigata Prefecture - Japan's Agriculture Ministry

TOKYO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th March, 2023) A bird flu outbreak will force Japan's Niigata Prefecture to have 680,000 chickens culled, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said on Monday.

"Yesterday, March 5, the presence of avian influenza virus was confirmed on a farm in Niigata Prefecture. ... Genetic analysis on Monday confirmed the presence of a highly pathogenic strain. This is the 78th case this season, 680,000 chickens will be culled," the ministry said.

A quarantine will be introduced on the transportation of chickens and their eggs within a 3-kilometer (1.9-mile) radius around the farm, according to the statement.

On Thursday, the agriculture ministry said that a record number of chickens - over 15 million - would be culled in Japan this season amid the spread of bird flu, which has affected 25 prefectures.

Experts explain the outbreak by the fact that migrating birds have returned earlier than usual this year, which has resulted in a rapid spread of infection across different regions. Bird flu has caused the price of chicken eggs � already high amid inflation and soaring food prices � to rise to a 29-year peak.