Japan's agriculture ministry has announced that the country is free of avian flu after about 17.7 million birds were culled across Japan, local media reported Tuesday.
The World Organization for Animal Health posted Japan's bird-flu-free declaration on its website on Monday, based on material submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The agriculture ministry said that avian influenza has not been detected since an outbreak started at a poultry farm in Chitose City, Hokkaido, on April 7, confirming that the virus has been eradicated from poultry farms and elsewhere in the country, said the report.
Japan logged a record-high number of bird flu infections from October to April. About 17.7 million chickens and other birds had to be culled at 84 poultry farms and elsewhere across 26 prefectures this season, according to NHK.
It added that Ministry officials called on farmers to ensure that disinfection measures and other steps are taken to prevent the virus from spreading next season.