Seoul, Jan 23 (IANS): South Korean quarantine officials began culling about 427,000 chickens on Sunday as a precautionary measure after the outbreaks of the H5N1 avian influenza virus or bird flu, at two farms, the Agricultural Ministry said.
The cases of the highly pathogenic bird flu were reported at two chicken farms in Hwaseong, about 40 km south of Seoul, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.
The Ministry did not give a specific time frame on when the quarantine officials will complete the culling, Yonhap News Agency reported.
It marked the 23rd and 24th case of a highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 found at poultry farms in South Korea this winter since November 8, 2021.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza is very contagious among birds and can cause severe illness and even death, especially among poultry.
Quarantine authorities slaughtered about 30 million poultry after the outbreak of avian influenza was first reported between November 2020 and April 2021, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
The number of layer chickens in South Korea came to 72.61 million in the October-December period, up 33,000 from the previous year.