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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Seoul confirms avian flu

The agriculture ministry of South Korea confirmed on Friday an outbreak of avian or bird flu at two separate poultry farms, according to a report from Reuters.
The disease caused by H5N1 avian influenza virus was detected in two separate animals and locations--chickens in Iksan city of North Jeolla province, and ducks in Cheonan city of South Chungcheong province.
The re-emergence of the avian flu virus forced authorities to raise bird flu alert and to cull the affected farms, quarantined commercial ducks, and chicken breeding farms.
The country has reported no severe cases of avian flu in the past. In the last ten years, three outbreaks had occurred said the ministry.
Meanwhile, the alert for foot-and-mouth disease remains at the highest level with over 540,000 livestock animals such as cattle and pigs being culled.
All livestock markets in the country were closed due to the nationwide outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. This resulted in escalated prices of beef and pork, and increased meat imports from other countries like Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
The foot-and-mouth disease outbreak originated in pigs in Andong city of North Gyeonsang province on 28 November. The disease affects livestock animals such as cows, pigs and sheep.
Vaccination measures are being conducted by government agencies in affected areas.
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