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S. Korea culls 15m poultry as highly pathogenic bird flu cases reach 47

Quarantine officials prepare to cull birds at a chicken farm in Sejong, some 150 kilometers south of Seoul, on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Quarantine officials prepare to cull birds at a chicken farm in Sejong, some 150 kilometers south of Seoul, on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
South Korea's agriculture ministry said Thursday that it has so far culled 14.9 million poultry since identifying its first farm-linked, highly pathogenic bird flu case in late November, further sparking concerns over a long-term battle against the contagious animal disease.

The country has reported a total of 47 highly pathogenic bird flu cases, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Birds within a 3-kilometer radius of infected farms are destroyed.

The latest case of the seriously contagious H5N8 strain of bird flu was reported from a duck farm in Eumseong, 131 kilometers south of Seoul, on late Wednesday.

Authorities are also investigating a suspected case from a farm in Yeongam, 384 kilometers south of Seoul. The farm was raising 20,000 ducks.

Of the total reported cases at farms so far, Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul, has accounted for 12, trailed by North and South Jeolla Province with 10 each.

The number of cases reported from wild birds, meanwhile, reached 60. Authorities are also investigating five suspected cases from their habitats. (Yonhap)
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