Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu has instructed ministers to take thorough measures to prevent the spread of bird flu and ensure stable supplies of chicken and eggs.
Matsuno issued the instruction at a meeting of relevant ministers on Friday. The meeting was called as the number of birds being culled for the disease has reached around 11 million, a record high for a single season.
Matsuno said thorough hygienic control is the key to preventing infections. He said the government will call on poultry farmers and other parties across the country to work together to observe hygiene protocols and implement emergency sterilization.
The chief cabinet secretary asked agriculture minister Nomura Tetsuro and other ministers to coordinate government-wide efforts and promptly take rigorous countermeasures should a new outbreak occur.
Matsuno also noted that wholesale prices of eggs are rising due to the spread of bird flu and surging feed costs.
He warned that the avian flu season will continue until the spring and the government must do all it can to contain the disease.