Health authorities on Friday ordered the slaughter of 200,000 chickens in Okayama Prefecture after officials confirmed the country's fourth bird flu outbreak since early December.
DNA tests confirmed the pathogenic H5 strain of the virus at a chicken farm in Kasaoka after 28 chickens were found dead on Wednesday.
The Agriculture Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces began culling the chickens on Friday in an operation expected to take four days.
Last month, the government ordered the slaughter of more 50,000 chickens at poultry farms in Miyazaki and Yamaguchi prefectures.
Local authorities have locked down the Kasaoka farm and others within a 10-kilometer radius, with the movement of chickens banned while the area was being sanitised.© Japan Today