Local authorities in western Japan's Kagawa Prefecture began culling about 92,000 chickens Thursday after the highly pathogenic H5 strain of avian influenza was detected.
The outbreak was confirmed at a poultry farm in the city of Sanuki as the chickens tested positive in genetic tests, making it the first bird flu case affecting livestock in Japan this season. The culling operation is to be completed within 24 hours.
The farm notified the prefectural government of a suspected bird flu case Wednesday morning, saying 55 chickens in one of its poultry houses had died.
In preliminary tests, three of 11 chickens tested positive. Genetic exams on the chickens began Wednesday, and authorities confirmed their results on Thursday.
Any movement of poultry and eggs will be restricted in a radius of 3 kilometers from the infected site and farms within its 10-km radius will be banned from transporting birds and eggs out of the area.
The farm has stopped shipping chickens elsewhere and the prefectural government has cleaned the area with disinfectants.