S. Korea Culls More Than 22 Million Poultry Over Bird Flu

Seoul, South Korea quarantine officials have slaughtered more than 22.5 million poultry this winter, an official said Saturday, as part of intense efforts to contain a bird flu that has ravaged chicken farms across the country.

They also plan to kill an additional 2.97 million chickens and ducks across the country in coming days, Yonhap News Agency reported.

That means the total number of poultry culled would account for about 15 percent of South Korea’s poultry since Nov. 16, when the first outbreak was reported at a chicken farm in Haenam, about 420 kilometers south of Seoul.

The outbreak — the first in nearly seven months — was caused by the highly pathogenic H5N6 strain of bird flu, a new type of virus that was first detected in South Korea.

In April, quarantine officials slaughtered 12,000 chickens and ducks. South Korea culled 14 million birds in 2014.

South Korea has more than 156 million chickens and more than 9.5 million ducks as of the end of March, according to government data.

Source: Qatar News Agency