Japanese authorities begin to cull 288,000 chickens
The local government confirmed an H5 type of virus in some of the dead birds in genetic testing.
In the north-eastern of Miyagi, about 200 local officials and 180 troops culled about 220,000 chickens at a poultry farm in the city of Kurihara after an H5 type of virus was detected in dead birds.
A total of 96 chickens were found dead at the farm between Tuesday and Thursday.
In the city of Asahi in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, about 600 officials started to slaughter about 68,000 chickens at a poultry farm.
At the farm, 118 of them were found dead in the past three days.
The outbreaks prompted the two prefectural governments to restrict the movements of poultry and eggs in areas near the farms.
Since November, cases of the highly pathogenic H5 virus have been found at poultry farms in wide areas of Japan, including the southern island of Kyushu and the northernmost island of Hokkaido.
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