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Some chickens get special treatment, while others get culled in S. Korea

by 5m Editor
14 December 2006, at 7:21am

SEOUL - Vast flocks of chickens are being killed, burned and buried in an effort to stop South Korea's bird flu outbreaks, but some are getting a truck drive and a safe haven.

Some 1,000 chickens will be relocated to remote mountains this week away from their home in Nonsan, North Chungcheong Province, as concerns mount over possible infection from nearby outbreak sites. The latest case occurred Monday at a quail farm in Gimje, North Jeolla Province, less than an hour's drive from Nonsan, after two outbreaks nearby last month.

The selected chickens were among a pure-bred indigenous breed of the species designated as a natural heritage of the country. The Cultural Heritage Administration announced its decision to relocate the special breed on Wednesday.

"We had a fear that the whole breed could be lost," Lee Jeong-young, the heritage agency official in charge of the relocation, said.

"It's risk management. If, by any chance, one group of them is infected and quarantined, we can preserve the breed and restore their scale from the other groups," she said.

The indigenous "ogolgye," meaning black-feathered chicken in Korean, was designated as heritage No. 265 in 1980. It bears the original qualities of the species that were lost over the course of genetic improvement for their use as food. Ogolgyes are smaller than their contemporary kin, can fly with their wings and need human care to grow. The breed has been raised and preserved exclusively in Jisan Farm in Nonsan with financial support from the government.

Source: Yonhap News

5m Editor