Chicken Culling Begins In Saga

Chicken culling begins in SagaOfficials in Japan's southwestern prefecture of Saga have begun culling chickens at a farm where the H5 strain of bird flu has been detected.
A total of 52 chickens were found dead at the farm in Kohoku Town between Thursday and Saturday.

Checks conducted by the prefecture on 7 of them confirmed all had the flu virus.

With the help of members of the Ground Self-Defense Force, prefectural officials are culling about 69,000 chickens and destroying more than 683,000 eggs at the farm, as well as another one owned by the same farmer about a kilometer away.

The prefecture says 49,000 birds, or about 70 percent of the total, have been culled as of noon on Sunday, and that the work is expected to be completed by Sunday night.

They also started to bury the culled birds around 5 AM on Sunday.

Officials are inspecting 4 poultry farms within a 3-kilometer radius to see if there are any irregularities.

They say they interviewed 12 poultry farmers within a 3- to 10-kilometer radius, and that nothing unusual has been reported.