Bird Flu Outbreak Leads to Mass Cull

Authorities have confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza at three poultry farms in the southwestern part of the country. It is the first time the virus has been detected in the country since 2011.

Quarantine authorities said that about 100,000 birds would be culled over the next few days.

A suspected case in North Jeolla Province was first reported on Thursday, prompting authorities to cull all 20,000 ducks there. Access to the area has also been restricted, and farms in other provinces that recently purchased ducks from the same location are also taking precautionary measures against the virus.

A 48-hour movement ban was imposed on livestock and related facilities and people in the province and neighboring South Jeolla on Sunday in an attempt to contain the outbreak to that area.

The order remains in effect until midnight Monday. The agriculture ministry said that as there have been no additional reports of possible infections since Sunday, it has no plans to lengthen the standstill order.

The exact cause of the outbreak has not yet been confirmed, but experts are investigating the possibility that migratory birds brought the virus to Korea. Korea culled more than three million birds during the most recent bird flu outbreak in 2011.

Arirang News / Jan. 20, 2014 11:31 KST