Japan has declared itself free from highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8, effective July 17.
Infection with H5 influenza A in poultry was confirmed on a broiler farm in Kumamoto province in mid-April. Movement restrictions were quickly applied to farms within a 3-kilometer radius of the affected farm. Shipment restrictions were imposed on farms within a radius of 3-10 kilometers.
A stamping-out policy was applied, which included the destruction of all susceptible birds and disinfection of the affected and related farms. More than 100,000 birds are thought to have been destroyed. All other control measures were completed by April 16.
Active surveillance with confirmation tests to prove freedom from avian influenza were conducted by the country’s veterinary authorities, including clinical inspection, serum antibody test and virus isolation. The three-month period has passed since the application of the stamping-out policy without any new outbreaks, allowing Japan to notify the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) that the outbreak has been resolved and the country is free from the disease.
Japan’s veterinary authorities are not expected to submit any further reports regarding the outbreak.