South Korea culls dogs, pigs29th November 2006
South Korea has begun a mass slaughter of pigs and dogs in the southern city of Iksan, following a cull of 127,000 chickens and 6.8 million eggs in an attempt to prevent the spread of bird flu.
Officials said 436 pigs and four dogs had been killed. They defended the decision to slaughter non-poultry species, saying that it was common practice in other countries but not widely publicised.
A further 700 dogs - bred on farms for consumption - were to be killed, although pigs were still the main focus, as they were more susceptible to infection with the H5N1 virus, they said.
The government has said it will compensate farmers for lost livestock, but gave no further details.
Since ravaging Asia's poultry in late 2003, the H5N1 virus has killed at least 153 people worldwide. Infections among people have been traced to contact with infected birds, but experts fear the virus could mutate into a form that could create a human pandemic.
Dogs bred for food are regularly slaughtered in South Korea, where dog meat is widely consumed, especially among middle-aged men who believe it boosts stamina and virility.
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Title: South Korea culls dogs, pigs
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 1338
Date Added: 29th Nov 2006