Avian flu confirmed in Akita Pref., northeastern Japan

© Kyodo News

Bird flu has been detected at a chicken farm in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Akita and some 143,000 birds there will be culled, the prefectural government said Wednesday.

The outbreak of avian flu, the season's first in Japan, was confirmed through genetic testing at a chicken farm in Yokote after the stock tested positive in a simple test the previous day.

The prefectural government also barred shipment of chickens or eggs from farms within a 10-kilometer radius from the affected farm, while requesting the dispatch of troops from the Self-Defense Forces to help address the issue.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called for the gathering of information and instructed the farm ministry and other government agencies to work closely to take thorough preventive steps promptly.

According to the prefectural government, a veterinarian reported to local health authorities on Tuesday morning that the number of chickens dying at the farm in Yokote had been increasing.

When 13 of the chickens were given a simple test, 12 tested positive for avian flu.