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USDA International Egg and Poultry


01 February 2014

USDA International Egg and Poultry: South KoreaUSDA International Egg and Poultry: South Korea

On January 16, 2014 a suspected case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was reported on duck breeding farm located in Gochang—gun, North Jolla Province in South Korea. The case was confirmed as HPAI (H5N8) on January 18, 2014. This is the first time this type of HPAI has been found in South Korea.
USDA International Egg and Poultry

Before this the last reported HPAI outbreak in South Korea was May 16, 2011. All the previous cases (2003-2004, 2006-2007, 2008 and 2010-2011) were of H5N1 type. At present there are no known cases of humans being infected by H5NA type of HPAI.

When the 2003-2004 HPAI outbreak occurred 2003 estimated broiler meat production dropped 2% from 2002, however estimated broiler meat production managed to increase 1% from 2003. Meanwhile, South Korea’s estimated total broiler meat imports declined 5% from 2002 to 2003. Total estimated broiler meat imports continued to decline in 2004 and were down 66% since 2002 before starting to increase again in 2005. Total estimated domestic broiler consumption dropped 12% from 2002-2004 before consumption started to rise again.

The 2006-2007 HPAI outbreak had a more muted effect on production and consumption and a more pronounced negative effect on imports. Estimated broiler meat production increased 26% from 2005-2007 while total estimated broiler meat imports fell 21% from 2006-2007 before they stared increasing again. Still, South Korea’s total estimated broiler meat consumption increased 23% from 2005-2007.

During the 2008 HPAI outbreak estimated broiler meat production and consumption declined 1% while total estimated broiler meat imports increased 17%. No decline in estimated broiler meat production or total estimated domestic broiler meat consumption occurred from 2008-2012, even during the HPAI outbreak from 2010-2011. Total estimated broiler meat imports rose from 2008- 2011 before declining 1% in 2012.



On January, 25, 2014 South Korea found for the first time a chicken infected with H5N8 strain. The cases up to this point had all involved ducks. Chickens are considered to be more vulnerable than ducks to the outbreak. This is of concern because the number chickens grown currently far out number ducks grown in South Korea.

After first being discovered in North Jolla Province, it is thought to have spread to 5 other provinces in South Korea. Currently, it is believed only Gangwon Province, North Gyeongsang Province and the island of Jeju remain free of any suspected avian influenza cases. After South Korea first discovered HPAI, over 2 million animals, mostly ducks and geese, either have been or will be culled.

Because a lot of people will be traveling to visit their hometowns during Lunar Year holidays from January 30- February 1, 2014, concern was being expressed the large movement of people would lead to rapid proliferation of the HPAI.

Concerns were also being expressed about the discovery of HPAI in the South Jolla Province in South Korea and the possibility of resulting duck meat shortages. The province raises about 8 million ducks, which is over 40% of South Korea’s supply.

Another concern is that HPAI has also been discovered in Gyenggi Province of South Korea. The province in includes Seoul, South Korea’s capital, and is also home to South Korea’s largest number of chicken farms.

HPAI has also been found in migratory birds including bean geese. Bean geese are migratory birds that breed in Europe and Russia and winter in South Korea.

Sources: USDA/FAS GAIN Report KS1403; USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service Official USDA PSD Online Estimates; ThePoultrySite; various news sources.

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