February 16, 2021


South Korea plans to ease bird flu precautionary measures temporarily



South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said it plans to ease bird flu precautionary measures temporarily as the spread of highly pathogenic bird flu has slowed down in the country, Yonhap News Agency reported.


The ministry said it will destroy the same kind of poultry within a 1 km radius of a confirmed infected farm for the next two weeks, if bird flu cases are detected. Previously, it destroyed all birds within a 3 km radius of an infected farm.


As an alternative, the ministry will conduct virus tests on all poultry within a 3 km radius of infected farms. The ministry will also disinfect surrounding areas of infected farms and access pathways daily.


The ministry's announced measures come as domestic farmers criticised the government's policy of culling all birds, as they said it resulted in poultry goods' prices rising.


Egg prices have increased 28% because of a supply shortage caused by bird flu.


The government aims to import 24 million fresh eggs by end-February to curb rising egg prices. Major food processing companies will be allowed to import 1,180 tonnes of egg products by June.


On January 28, the South Korean government temporarily abolished tariffs on imported egg goods.


95 bird flu cases have been reported so far in the country's latest bird flu outbreak, which began in November 2020.


- Yonhap News Agency