About 40,000 birds were culled in southern Japan after a highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak was confirmed, marking the first reported case of bird flu in the country during the autumn and winter season this year.

The development came a day after the outbreak was confirmed at a farm in Kashima City of the southern Japanese prefecture of Saga, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan announced, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the Ministry, the affected farm housed approximately 40,000 laying hens.