Millions of birds culled in Seoul

Millions of birds culled in Seoul

The sale of live ducks and chickens has been prohibited at traditional markets, where bird flu is a hard threat to contain.

The measure, proposed by the Grand National Party at a meeting with government officials, comes as South Korea is undergoing its worst scare over bird flu.

According to government officials the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus has struck almost every region of the country, including the capital city of Seoul.

Traditional markets, which people use as a cheap alternative to modern warehouse-style grocery stores, have become a sanitary concern because quarantine officials find it hard to track products sold there.

Since this year’s bird flu was first reported early last month in the southwestern part of the country, authorities have culled millions of birds and decontaminated a number of poultry farms, vehicles and traditional markets.

But the outbreak has continued to spread, reaching as far north as Seoul, with the cities of Ulsan and Daegu in the southeast also affected.

Even though no human deaths have been reported in South Korea, some 240 people have reportedly died from the deadly H5N1 strain around the world. Experts fear the virus, which usually spreads from birds to humans, could mutate into a form easily transmissible between people, triggering a deadly global pandemic. Gov't to ban live ducks, chickens at traditional markets: lawmaker; 2008/05/13 "We will continue to fine-tune measures with the government so it doesn't seem like excessive control or a liability for people," Rep. Kwon Kyung-seok said. He did not specify when the measure, which also seeks to monitor poultry-transport vehicles, will come into effect.
Source: Seoul City Government (