Japan kills 143,000 chickens after bird flu outbreak

Egg-laying chicken farm, photo: eakkachaister via Canva
Egg-laying chicken farm, photo: eakkachaister via Canva

Japan exterminated 143,000 egg-laying chickens after an avian influenza outbreak at a farm in Yokote city in Akita Prefecture, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry added that Japan has temporarily stopped exports of chicken meat and eggs from all regions following the outbreak.

“Under the current situation in Japan, we do not believe that there is any possibility of avian influenza being transmitted to humans through the consumption of chicken meat or eggs,” the agriculture ministry said.

But a rise in the number of people in China getting infected from avian influenza this year is becoming a source of concern among experts, especially as the world slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

China has reported more than twenty human infections with the H5N6 subtype of avian influenza this year, compared to only five last year. Six people died and others were critically ill.

More bird flu outbreaks have also been reported in recent days and weeks in Poland, Germany, France, England and the Netherlands.

In 2020, there were 1617 bird flu outbreaks worldwide, with governments killing almost 25 million animals. In the first ten months of 2021, OIE reported 2947 outbreaks, killing nearly 43 million animals.

Last winter, Japan killed almost 10 million chickens after bird flu outbreaks. Japan has 181 million egg-laying chickens and 140 million broiler chickens, according to the ministry of agriculture.

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