South Korea culls pigs to stop AI
South Korea has culled another 4,000 pigs and 2,000
poultry to prevent the spread of avian influenza (AI) after four cases were
confirmed in the country's South West.
Quarantine authorities decided to slaughter the pigs in South Chungchong
province as a precaution after they were discovered on a farm within a 500-metre
radius of the site of the latest outbreak.
week, the agriculture ministry confirmed a fourth case of AI
, at a duck farm at Asan,
90 kilometres South of Seoul.
"We included the pigs in the list to
make sure that we should completely stop the spread of the AI virus," said Kim
Chang-Seop, director of animal health at the agriculture
Altogether now 4,177 pigs have been killed due to AI in the
Asan area, the ministry said.
AI has been reported in South Korea
since mid-2003. The disease, caused by the H5N1 virus and spread through contact
with sick animals, has killed more than 150 people worldwide.
Scientists fear pigs could act as a 'mixing bowl' in which a human
pandemic strain could evolve, because the animals can harbour both human and
avian flu viruses.
Korean Ministry of
Agriculture & Forestry
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