Japanese authorities on Thursday began to slaughter more than 1 million chickens at an egg farm in eastern Japan after a bird flu outbreak was discovered, the government said.
Chiba Governor Kensaku Morita asked the Defence Ministry to send soldiers to help cull the 1.16 million chickens and bury them in the city of Isumi, 80 kilometres south-east of Tokyo, in the first culling operation in eastern Japan this season.
Morita vowed to contain the outbreak as early as possible. Workers at the farm found that about 220 chickens were dead on Wednesday and reported this to local government officials.
It is the nation’s 32nd outbreak of avian influenza this season, with the government culling more than 4.6 million chickens in total.
The latest outbreak has hit 13 prefectures, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.