05/13/2008, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA

Avian flu: all poultry culled in Seoul

More than 30 outbreaks are reported across the country, forcing the authorities take drastic measures. About 6.8 million birds are destroyed but the H5N1 infection continues to spread.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Seoul's entire poultry stock has been culled to stop the spread of bird flu following a fresh outbreak of the disease in the capital. City officials yesterday confirmed the destruction of 15,000 chickens, ducks, pheasants and turkeys raised in farms, restaurants, schools and homes in the city. The slaughter did not affect parrots, parakeets and canaries because they have little chance of spreading the disease.

The slaughter began Sunday night, hours after authorities recorded Seoul's second outbreak of the H5N1 virus in less than a week.

Tests also confirmed that two additional outbreaks in the past few weeks elsewhere in the country, in Busan (South Korea’s second largest city) and Ansung, bringing to 31 the total number of outbreaks in South Korea.

Bird flu began sweeping southern parts of the country last month for the first time in more than a year, forcing the slaughter of about 6.8 million birds.

At least 240 people have died from the bird flu since 2003, mostly in South-East Asia.

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