S. Korea Culls 3M Birds in Flu Fight

Nation on alert as troops sent in to slaughter poultry
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2008 8:35 AM CDT
South Korean health officials in protective suits transport a sack containing chickens to be buried at a chicken farm where the bird flu virus was found in Yeongam, South Korea, April 10, 2008   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – South Korea has sent in soldiers to kill and bury birds as bird flu spreads rapidly throughout the country, Reuters reports. More than 3 million farm birds have been culled so far, but fresh cases continue to be reported and the disease is heading for the capital. The entire country has been put on its second-highest alert level, although no human infections have yet been reported.

The government is coming under heavy criticism for failing to halt the outbreak. Ministers say they will step up the scale of the slaughtering and investigate why the deadly virus has been spreading so fast since the first cases were reported just two weeks ago. A poultry dealer is being investigated for taking hundreds of ducks from an infected farm and selling them around the country.