Over 6% of the poultry flock in South Korea has been culled in order to curb a bird flu outbreak that has hit farms and migratory birds nationwide, government officials have reported.
The number of farm birds slaughtered now totals 10.16 million, which is close to a record 10.2 million during an outbreak in 2008, according to data from the agriculture ministry. In one of Seoul’s largest markets, chicken sales dropped by more than half on average last month in the wake of the latest outbreak, according to a ministry official.
South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy is no stranger to bird flu having had four bird flu outbreaks in the past 10 years. The first case in this latest series was found on January 17 at a duck farm in North Jeolla province, around 300 km (186 miles) southwest of Seoul. Some 28 poultry farms across the nation have been hit by the disease, the ministry said.
Disinfection measures for migratory birds, the suspected source of the present outbreak, have been stepped up at 37 sites across the country. The movement of some livestock workers in affected areas has also been restricted.