|Workers wearing protection suits cull chickens at a poultry farm where the bird flu virus had been found in Miyazaki, southern Japan January 24, 2011. The Miyazaki prefectural government stepped up its efforts to fight bird flu on Monday, after it confirmed infections at a second local poultry farm and began culling about 410,000 chickens there the previous day, Kyodo news reports. Picture taken January 24, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
TOKYO, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chickens at a poultry farm in Japan' s southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima have tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu, local government officials said Wednesday.
The prefectural government said that of the 10 birds tested for the virus, eight of them tested positive. The culling of around 8,600 chickens has already started at the poultry farm in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, according to the officials.
This is the third case this year and the fourth since December that mass poultry culling has occurred in Japan following the detection of the avian flu virus, which officials say in some cases was a particularly infective strain.
Earlier this week, two farms were found to have infected chickens in neighboring Miyazaki Prefecture, the nation's largest poultry-producing region, and the problem was deemed serious enough to dispatch a 170-member Self-Defense Force team to help cull the birds.