SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- A case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was reported in South Korea for the first time in around three years, leading the country's quarantine authorities to cull more than 20,000 poultry, the agriculture ministry said Friday.
Kwon Jae-han, director of livestock policy bureau at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said at a press briefing that"the case of AI was reported Thursday at a duck farm in Gochang," around 300 km southwest of the capital Seoul.
Kwon said that the preliminary test confirmed it was a H5N1 strain, noting that it had a high likelihood for the in-depth test to be confirmed as an outbreak of a highly pathogenic strain.
The drake farm parceled out some 173,000 ducklings to 24 farms in 4 provinces nationwide, Kwon said, noting that the culling of some 21,000 poultry at the farm, which reported the case, has been under way.
It was the first time in around three years that the highly pathogenic AI was reported in South Korea. The latest, which occurred in late 2011, led to the culling of more than 3 million poultry.