World

15,000 birds killed in Seoul over avian flu fears

South Korean officials said they have killed all poultry in the capital city of Seoul to curb the spread of avian flu following a new outbreak of the disease.

South Korean officials said they have killed all poultry in the capital city of Seoul to curb the spread of avian flu following a new outbreak of the disease.

Quarantine officials destroyed 15,000 chickens, ducks, pheasants and turkeys raised in farms, restaurants, schools and homes in the capital, said Kim Yoon-kyu, a Seoul city government official.

The Seoul government said the slaughter was necessary to contain the disease. It said it will now focus on preventing live poultry from being brought into the capital.

The slaughter began Sunday night, hours after authorities confirmed Seoul's second outbreak of bird flu in less than a week.

The slaughter did not affect parrots, parakeets and canaries because they have little chance of spreading the disease, Kim said.  

Government tests were under way to determine whether the outbreak was caused by the virulent H5N1 virus, said Kim Chang-seop, an official at the Agriculture Ministry. He said test results would be available as early as Monday night.