December 26, 2003



South Korea Confirmed Newcastle Bird Disease


A first case of the Newcastle bird disease was confirmed at a chicken farm in South Korea's Gyeonggi Province. The disease appears to be spreading with a suspected case reported in Asan, South Chungcheong Province.


The government took quarantine measures against the Newcastle bird disease yesterday as the epidemic was suspected of killing some 3,000 chickens at a farm in Eumseong, North Chungcheong Province, a day earlier.


The latest chicken deaths have added to South Korea's concerns, as the government has been making all-out efforts to contain the spread of a fatal bird flu that has seriously affected the nation's poultry sector over the last two weeks.


Government officials said the first examination by the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service led to suspicions that the highly contagious Newcastle disease was behind what happened at the farm, located about 80 kilometers southeast of Seoul.


Following the report, quarantine authorities limited the movement of 30,000 chickens on the farm and prevented outsiders from entering.


The government plans to slaughter and bury the chickens if it is confirmed that the farm has the first-grade legal epidemic known as Newcastle.