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SEASON'S FIRST BIRD FLU CASE IN JAPAN; TO CULL 40,000 BIRDS; NHK
Japan detected the first case of highly pathogenic H5-type bird flu this season at a poultry farm in the south of the country, public broadcaster NHK reported on Saturday.
The local government in Saga Prefecture will cull about 40,000 birds on the farm, NHK said, citing agriculture ministry officials it did not name.
Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment outside of business hours.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will convene relevant cabinet ministers to discuss measures to prevent spreading of the virus, NHK said.
The virus was detected as a result of genetic testing conducted after some poultry birds were found dead at the farm on Friday, the report said.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza has spread around the globe in recent years, leading to the culling of hundreds of millions of birds.
In Japan a record 17.7 million poultry birds were culled last season, prompting the authorities to stay on high alert.
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