South Korea orders bird flu lockdown

South Korea imposed Monday a 12-hour lockdown on poultry farms in three provinces to curb a spreading bird flu outbreak, banning the movement of animals, people and vehicles.

More than 640,000 poultry have already been slaughtered since the outbreak was first detected on January 16 at a duck farm in Gochang, 300 kilometres (187 miles) southwest of Seoul.

The H5N8 strain of has since been identified in 17 other farms, with tests being carried out in 22 others, and a further 810,000 poultry have been identified for slaughter.

The 12-hour travel ban on poultry farmers and other members of the industry, including vets, took effect at 6:00am Monday (2100 GMT Sunday) in Gyeonggi province—which surrounds Seoul—and the provinces of South and North Chungcheong.

The South Korean capital was not included in the lockdown.

During the 12-hour period, local officials will oversee disinfection operations at all farms in the region.

It is the first in South Korea since 2011, when more than six million poultry were culled at about 280 farms.

The lockdown comes amid fears that the mass movement of people during the coming Lunar New Year holiday will fan the spread of the disease.

Millions of people travel to their hometowns—many in rural areas—to meet relatives and pay respects at ancestors' graves during the traditional holiday, which this year lasts from January 30 to February 2.

"What holiday? I'm too busy protecting my ducks," one farmer in Gochang told the local Maeil Business Newspaper.

"This catastrophe is overshadowing and unnerving the whole village. I told my children never even dream of coming home this year," another Gochang resident said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

S.Korea on alert after bird flu confirmed

Jan 18, 2014

South Korea stepped up the culling of poultry and enforced strict quarantine measures Saturday to stop the country's first outbreak of bird flu in three years from spreading, officials said.

Bangladesh slaughters 150,000 birds over avian flu

Dec 26, 2012

Bangladesh's livestock authorities are slaughtering around 150,000 chickens at a giant poultry farm near Dhaka after the worst outbreak of avian flu in five years, officials said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Ebola kills 31 people in DR Congo: WHO

1 hour ago

An outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 31 people and the epidemic remains contained in a remote northwestern region, UN the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.

Dengue fever strikes models in Japan

3 hours ago

A worsening outbreak of dengue fever in Japan has claimed its first celebrities—two young models sent on assignment to the Tokyo park believed to be its source.

Japanese researchers develop 30-minute Ebola test

3 hours ago

Japanese researchers said Tuesday they had developed a new method to detect the presence of the Ebola virus in 30 minutes, with technology that could allow doctors to quickly diagnose infection.

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

16 hours ago

Senegalese authorities on Monday were monitoring everyone who was in contact with a student infected with Ebola who crossed into the country, and who has lost three family members to the disease.

Cerebral palsy may be hereditary

21 hours ago

Cerebral palsy is a neurological developmental disorder which follows an injury to the immature brain before, during or after birth. The resulting condition affects the child's ability to move and in some ...

User comments