Bird Flu Claims 30M Birds in South Korea

The number of birds culled in South Korea to contain its worst bird flu outbreak has reached the 30 million mark.

It more than doubled the 14 million birds destroyed in the country during a similar outbreak in 2014.

Naturally, prices of eggs skyrocketed amid a shortage of supply as about a third of the country’s egg-laying hens (22.45 million) have been culled.

Daily egg production dropped significantly from 43 million to 30 million.

Eggs were sold out at supermarkets, and business such as cake shops have also been affected by the shortage.

To help resolve the shortage, the country’s cabinet approved Tuesday (January 3) a regulation to temporarily remove import tariffs on egg products, allowing local companies to import 98,000 tons of whole eggs and other types of egg products without tariffs between Wednesday (January 4) and June 30.

The first case of the highly pathogenic H5N6 virus in South Korea was reported in late October from droppings of migratory birds and has since spread rapidly across the nation. The first outbreak at a chicken farm was reported in mid-November.

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