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

West Africa seals off Ebola outbreak epicentre

5 hours ago

West Africa's Ebola-hit nations announced a cross-border isolation zone on Friday, sealing off the epicentre of the world's worst-ever outbreak as health chiefs warned the epidemic was spiralling out of control.

STDs on the rise in Miami area

10 hours ago

Rates of both chlamydia and syphilis in Miami-Dade have nearly doubled since 2006, according to new statistics from the Florida Department of Health.

User comments