16 million birds culled in Japan due to 'bird flu'

90% of the culled birds are chickens. Archival

Authorities in Japan have culled a record 16 million birds amid an outbreak of bird flu, with 80 cases detected in poultry farms in 26 prefectures.

Japan's Kyodo news agency quoted the Ministry of Agriculture as saying that chickens make up to 90 percent of the birds culled.

The bird flu virus has spread at an unprecedented pace in Japan since October, amid growing concerns about shortages of poultry products and rising prices.