Japan to cull record number of chickens due to bird flu

MITO (Jiji Press) — The number of chickens to be culled in Japan due to bird flu will hit a record high of about 9.98 million this season, according to a tally as of Monday.

The previous season high was some 9.87 million chickens culled in the period from autumn 2020 through spring 2021.

The prefectural government of Ibaraki, northeast of Tokyo, said Monday it has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza at a poultry farm in the town of Shirosato.

About 930,000 chickens raised for eggs at the farm will all be culled, prefectural officials said.

The Ibaraki case represents this season’s 56th bird flu outbreak across Japan, a record high for the country. The previous record was 52 outbreaks marked in the 2020-2021 season.