South Korea issues temporary nationwide standstill order to contain bird flu

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s agriculture ministry issued a temporary nationwide standstill order for poultry farms and related transport on Saturday in a bid to contain a wider spread of highly pathogenic bird flu.

The movement control order has been put in place for 48 hours, effective from 1500 GMT Friday - midnight in South Korea - for all poultry farms and livestock production facilities, including their vehicles and personnel, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement.

The movement comes as the number of highly pathogenic bird flu cases at poultry farms rose to 10 on Friday since late November.

The country reported its first highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of bird flu in wild birds in October in Cheonan-si, Chungcheongnam-do, about 84 km (52 miles) west of Seoul, according to the agriculture ministry.

Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan