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South Korea Culls 33 Million Poultry As Avian Influenza Ravage Continues

By February 11, 2017 at 9:33 am
Over 33 million poultry have been culled in the latest AI outbreak, more than twice during the outbreak in 2014. (Photo : Getty Images)

The spread of the avian influenza in South Korea has led to over 33 million poultry being culled since the first case was reported in November, according to government officials Saturday.

As of Friday, 33.12 million animals have been culled in the country, more than twice the number in 2014 when 13.96 million were destroyed.

On Nov. 16, the first case in the latest outbreak of the avian influenza was reported in a farm located in Haenam. It was discovered that the outbreak was caused by the H5N6 bird flu strain.

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural affairs also detected the outbreak of foot and mouth disease at a dairy farm in Boeun county. They have confirmed that the cow bred at the farm were tested positive for FMD.

As a precautionary step, authorities have ordered the culling of all cows, 195 of them, in the farm.

South Korea is no stranger to FMD as a previous case was discovered at a hog farm in Chungcheong province in 2016.

More cases of FMD were later reported, such as in Jeongeup and Yeoncheon, both within 260 kilometers from Seoul.

As of Friday, the agriculture ministry reported that 1,903 cattle have been culled from 14 farms. 
The AI has affected about 340 poultry farms across the country although it has showed signs that it's subsiding.

On Monday, however, a new outbreak was reported at a farm in Gimje, North Jeolla Province. It is located 180 km south of the capital city Seoul.

The central government is obligated by law to compensate farms hit by AI, shouldering 80 percent of the cost. The remaining 20 percent will be paid by the local governments. 

The government is expected to shell out 261.2 billion won to pay for the compensation of the 340 farms hit by AI, which is 2.6 times bigger than how much it paid in 2014.  

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