Another S Korean farm falls to bird flu

South Korea has declared a 10th farm infected with a highly contagious bird flu, as it slaughtered thousands more chickens and ducks in a desperate attempt to contain the virus that emerged this month.

    More than a million birds are to be killed over a few days

    The poultry farm was found to be infected on Wednesday with the H5N1 bird flu virus -  which is potentially fatal to humans - in a new round of testing of farms, agriculture officials said, with another nine farms already declared to have the disease. 

     Early on Wednesday, agriculture officials and troops had culled 700,000 birds from 1.28 million to be killed over the next few days, the agriculture ministry said. 

    YTN cable news television showed soldiers bagging dead birds for burial, as herds of ducklings and chicks were forced to march towards a huge ditch on one farm where they were to be buried alive.

    Dangerous to humans

    The virus was first confirmed at a farm in Umseong, 130 kms
    southeast of Seoul, on 15 December. This week it jumped the quarantine zone around the farm and spread to others, notably those in the South Cheollar province which supplies nearly half of the country's ducks. 

    The H5N1 virus is considered potentially dangerous to humans and claimed six lives in Hong Kong in 1997. 

    But officials from South Korea's National Institute of Health have suggested this strain could be a variant which poses no harm to humans. 

    Nonetheless, poultry consumption has plunged, sending chicken prices plummeting across the country. Chicken exports have also slowed with China and Japan banning the import of poultry or bird products from South Korea.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.