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S. Korea culls 2.7 mln birds so far to curb highly pathogenic bird flu

All News 11:12 December 09, 2020

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Wednesday it has destroyed around 2.7 million poultry to prevent the spread of a highly pathogenic bird flu among local farms amid growing concerns over the disease penetrating deeper into the local livestock industry.

Local authorities have culled 361,000 ducks, 1.5 million chickens and 885,000 quails since Nov. 28 when South Korea reported its first farm-related case in Jeongeup, about 290 kilometers south of Seoul, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

South Korea has so far confirmed five cases of the highly pathogenic avian influenza from poultry farms nationwide. The country is currently studying two suspected cases as well.

Officials prepare to cull ducks at a farm in Naju, 355 kilometers south of Seoul, on Dec. 8, 2020, in line with efforts to prevent the spread of avian influenza.

The cases came from different regions, ranging from Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul, to South Jeolla Province.

Authorities cull poultry within a 3-km radius of infected farms.

Birds at farms with suspected cases are also destroyed.

The country reported its first highly pathogenic case in 32 months in late October in Cheonan, 92 kilometers south of Seoul, from wild birds. Since then, a whopping 19 cases have been found from wild bird habitats across the country.

Health authorities are investigating 17 suspected cases of highly pathogenic bird flu among wild birds as well.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is contagious and can cause severe illness and even death in poultry.

colin@yna.co.kr
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