Health workers prepare containers to be used for culled birds disposal at a farm where an official says bird flu has been detected, in Shintomi town, southern Japan Monday, Jan. 24, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
TOKYO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Miyazaki Prefectural government on Monday redoubled its efforts to combat the outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus in the prefecture, located on the eastern coast of the island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan.
Following conformation of the virus at a second poultry farm in the area, more culling of chickens is expected after a 410,000 chickens were slaughtered at a farm there on Sunday, local media said.
The local government announced Saturday that a genetic test had detected the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus in six chickens at the Mori Furanjo Omagari Nojo farm in the city of Miyazaki, where dozens of birds were found dead.
According to local media reports, 10,240 chickens on the farm were slaughtered initially and the government informed restrictions on the transfer of chickens and eggs within a radius of 10 km from the farm under the Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control Law.
The restricted zone effectively contains around 1.5 million chickens grown at 46 poultry farms in the area.
Ground Self-Defense Force troops are on standby to be deployed to the area if and when the central government feels that further efforts to ensure the virus doesn't spread further are needed.
The slaughtered birds from the Mori Furanjo Omagari Nojo farm will be burned by Monday evening and the chickens being culled in the town of Shintomi will continue for a few days and the carcasses burnt thereafter.
In Miyazaki Prefecture, bird flu hit three farms in 2007, when 198,000 chickens were culled. The prefecture is known as one of Japan's largest poultry producers, with some 18.38 million chickens being raised as of 2009.