S.Korea culls over 25 mn birds

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Seoul, Dec 25 (IANS) South Korean authorities announced on Sunday they had culled 22.5 million birds so far this winter and plan to put down another three million in the coming days to contain the spread of bird flu.

The measure is intended to check the outbreak of the H5N6 virus that was detected on November 16 in the droppings of migratory birds in Haenam in the south of the country, and which has now spread to other parts of the country, Efe news agency reported.

The number of poultry culled so far is equal to around 15 percent of the country’s total, according to Lee Yon-jin of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The largest bird flu outbreak in recent years in the country occurred in 2014 and led to the culling of 14 million birds, resulting in significant losses for the sector.

Towards the end of 2015, South Korea had 155 million chickens and 8.7 million ducks.

Japan is on maximum alert over the same strain of the bird flu virus and has culled more than 500,000 chickens and ducks.

–IANS

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