Japan reports bird flu outbreak on quail farm

February 27, 2009

An outbreak of bird flu has been reported on a quail farm in central Japan but no animals have died and no humans have been infected, the agriculture ministry said Friday.

The H7 viral strain was found during regular monitoring by the prefecture.

Jiji Press news agency reported that 280,000 of the 320,000 quails on the farm would be destroyed for quarantine reasons.

"The outbreak occurred at a quail farm in Aichi prefecture, but no birds have died and no humans have been infected," an official at the ministry said.

"Bird flu may remind you of scenes of many birds dying, but no birds have died there. It is unlikely that the virus found this time is deadly."

The ministry banned 65 farms within a radius of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) of the affected farm from shipping birds or eggs.

In April and May last year several dead swans tested positive for the more virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu in Hokkaido, northern Japan.

(c) 2009 AFP

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