Japan Confirmed Free of Bird Flu

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Workers in protective gear bury culled chickens in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, on Dec. 24, 2022.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s declaration that it is free of highly pathogenic avian influenza has been approved by the World Organization for Animal Health, the agriculture ministry said Tuesday.

The ministry is considering reviewing its sanitary control policy for poultry farms to reduce the number of chickens to be culled in a future outbreak of the disease.

Bird flu for this season was first confirmed Oct. 28 last year, raging in 26 of Japan’s 47 prefectures and leading to the culling of 17.7 million birds, the country’s record high for a single season.

Wholesale chicken egg prices indicated by egg seller JA.Z-Tamago Co., part of the Japan agricultural cooperatives group, hit record highs due to a serious supply shortage caused by the outbreak.

No bird flu case has been confirmed in Japan since April 7 this year. The ministry sent the self-declaration to the international body, saying that measures to prevent the spread of infection, including culling and disinfection of farms, had been completed as of May 13.