May 12, 2008

Poultry Slaughtered in Seoul After Bird Flu Outbreak

All poultry in the South Korean capital city of Seoul have been killed in the government's effort to end the spread of avian flu, South Korean officials announced on Monday.

The slaughter began Sunday night in response to the second confirmed outbreak of bird flu in lass than a week.

The Seoul government said the killing of 15,000 chickens, ducks, pheasants and turkeys was crucial to containing the disease.

The next step will be to prevent any new poultry from entering the country, says Kim Yoon-kyu, a Seoul Metropolitan Government official.

Kim Chang-seop, an official at the Agriculture Ministry, said that tests o determine whether the outbreak was caused by the H5N1 virus are already under way.

Test results should be available as early as Monday night.

On Sunday, the 27th and 28th outbreaks of the H5N1 virus were reported in poultry farms in Busan and Ansung, Kim said. He said it was the first time the virus has been found in Busan, the country's second largest city.

The increased spreading of bird flu in the southern parts of the country began last month, after a year of no reported outbreaks. Over all about 6.8 million birds have been slaughtered in response to the recent outbreaks.

Worldwide, at least 241 people have died from bird flu since 2003, according to the World Health Organization. Most human cases have been linked to contact with infected poultry.


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