South Korea's poultry industry is reeling from an uncontrollable spread of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu that left a record number of ducks and chicken culled just in four weeks.
Since H5N6, a new type of virus, was detected for the first time in South Korea on November 16, some 14.44 million chickens and ducks have been slaughtered and buried, breaking a previous record of 13.9 million culled for 195 days in 2014, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday.
Layer chicken farms are the biggest victim of this year's bird flu outbreak, losing 7.4 million chickens, the ministry said, expressing concern about the rapid spread of the virus despite frantic quarantine efforts. At midnight Monday, South Korea issued a two-day "standstill" to restrict the movement of livestock, people, and equipment for the disinfection of all poultry farms.
H5N6 has caused a higher mortality rate than previous cases. There has been no human infection in South Korea. Health authorities have blamed migratory birds for spreading the virus.
Aju News Lim Chang-won = firstname.lastname@example.org