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Published November 30, 2010, 08:10 AM

Bird flu found on farm in western Japan

TOKYO — Bird flu was detected on a chicken farm in western Japan and all 23,300 animals were to be slaughtered Tuesday, an official said.

By: Jay Alabaster, Associated Press

TOKYO — Bird flu was detected on a chicken farm in western Japan and all 23,300 animals were to be slaughtered Tuesday, an official said.

Five dead birds were discovered on the farm in Yasugi in Shimane prefecture, near Japan’s western coast, and they later tested positive for the H5 avian flu, said agriculture official Yuji Kawakami.

Further tests at a national lab were being conducted to determine the strain of the flu. The deadly H5N1 strain has been blamed for killing at least 254 people worldwide since 2003, but the H5N2 strain poses no danger to humans.

The Ministry of Agriculture sent a team to the region to investigate.

Checks done on chickens at four other farms within a 6 mile (10 kilometer) radius showed no signs of bird flu, but the movement of all birds in the area was prohibited as a precaution.

Yasugi is 360 miles (580 kilometers) west of Tokyo.

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