Ja­pan or­ders ma­jor poul­try cull af­ter bird flu out­break

‘South Korea to cull 3 per­cent of poul­try’

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Ja­pan has started culling more than 300,000 chick­ens and ducks af­ter the dis­cov­ery of a highly con­ta­gious form of bird flu on farms in the north of the coun­try, lo­cal of­fi­cials said. The bird flu out­breaks are the first in nearly two years in Ja­pan and news of the cullings boosted shares in some in­fec­tion-con­trol prod­uct mak­ers.

In Ni­igata pre­fec­ture north of Tokyo, au­thor­i­ties on Tues­day started culling about 310,000 chick­ens at a farm in the vil­lage of Sekikawa af­ter 40 birds were found dead from H5 bird flu, a pre­fec­tural of­fi­cial told Reuters by tele­phone. The cull will con­tinue un­til Dec 2, the of­fi­cial said. Fur­ther north in the pre­fec­ture of Ao­mori, about 16,500 ducks were be­ing culled in the city of the same name af­ter some tested pos­i­tive for bird flu, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment on the pre­fec­ture’s web­site. This is the first time that highly path­o­genic avian in­fluenza has been con­firmed in Ao­mori pre­fec­ture, it said. The agri­cul­ture min­istry said the out­breaks are the first for nearly two years in poul­try farms in Ja­pan.

Taiko Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Co, which makes in­fec­tion-con­trol prod­ucts, surged 3.2 per­cent, and mask maker Dai­wabo Hold­ings, jumped 5.1 per­cent. Pro­tec­tive cloth­ing maker Azearth Corp, which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Ex­change’s se­cond sec­tion, soared 17 per­cent to its daily limit of 681 yen. Mean­while, grilled-chicken restau­rant op­er­a­tor Torik­i­zoku Co dropped 2.8 per­cent. “The news about bird flu is af­fect­ing these shares, but these moves tend to be short­lived,” said Mit­sushige Akino, chief fund man­ager at Ichiyoshi As­set Man­age­ment. South Korea last Fri­day an­nounced a tem­po­rary na­tion­wide stand­still or­der for poul­try farms and re­lated trans­port over the week­end in a bid to con­tain a spread of H5N6 bird flu, a se­vere strain of the dis­ease. An­other se­vere strain of bird flu, H5N8, has hit sev­eral coun­tries in Europe and led to the culling of thou­sands of poul­try af­ter be­ing de­tected in wild ducks in North­ern France. In re­cent weeks there have also been out­breaks in the Nether­lands, Switzer­land, Ro­ma­nia and Ger­many. Dutch au­thor­i­ties de­stroyed about 190,000 ducks on Satur­day at six farms fol­low­ing an avian flu out­break.

Farm­ers lo­cated in hu­mid re­gions, where the risk of trans­mis­sion is higher, are ad­vised by health au­thor­i­ties to keep poul­try flocks in­doors or ap­ply safety nets pre­vent­ing con­tact with wild birds. The H5N8 virus has never been de­tected in hu­mans but it led to the culling of mil­lions of farm birds in Asia, mainly South Korea, in 2014 be­fore spread­ing to Europe. The World Or­ga­ni­za­tion for An­i­mal Health had warned in an in­ter­view with Reuters midNovem­ber that more out­breaks of H5N8 were likely in Europe as wild birds be­lieved to trans­mit the virus mi­grate south­ward.

In an­other de­vel­op­ment,

South Korea will cull 3 per­cent of its to­tal poul­try pop­u­la­tion to curb an out­break of bird flu that has hit a num­ber of farms across the na­tion, its agri­cul­ture min­istry said yes­ter­day. Since a se­vere strain of bird flu known as H5N6 cropped up on Nov 18, Asia’s fourth-largest econ­omy has stepped up its quar­an­tine mea­sures to con­tain the virus, in­clud­ing is­su­ing a 48-hour na­tion­wide stand­still or­der for this last week­end. De­spite the ef­forts, Korea’s Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Food and Ru­ral Af­fairs said in a state­ment yes­ter­day that four new cases of H5N6 had been con­firmed in cen­tral South Korea.

That brings the to­tal num­ber of in­fected birds to 13 since H5N6 ap­peared about two weeks ago, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment. Nine other farm birds are also be­ing tested for sus­pected in­fec­tions, it said.

To con­tain the fur­ther spread of the virus, the min­istry will slaugh­ter at least 2.78 mil­lion birds, in­clud­ing 1.68 mil­lion that have al­ready been culled, the min­istry said. That would be nearly 3.3 per­cent of South Korea’s to­tal poul­try pop­u­la­tion of 84.7 mil­lion. Sales of chicken, eggs and ducks at three ma­jor dis­count stores - E-Mart Inc, Lotte Mart and Home­plus Stores Co - have not dropped as con­sumers know that poul­try prod­ucts are safe to eat as long as they are cooked prop­erly, com­pany spokes­men at the three re­tail­ers said.

Sup­plies of chicken and duck meat and eggs have not tight­ened, an agri­cul­ture min­istry of­fi­cial said, but it would have to im­ple­ment mea­sures such as im­port­ing more to meet de­mand if the bird flu out­break was pro­longed. South Korea’s poul­try sup­ply is self-suf­fi­cient, but it still im­ports some chicken prod­ucts, mainly from Brazil, Den­mark and the United States. — Agen­cies

SEKIKAWA, Ja­pan : Sol­diers of the Ground Self-De­fense Force pre­pare be­fore head­ing chicken farm in Sekikawa.—AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.