Market News & Headlines >> S. Korea Bans U.S. Poultry Again Over Bird Flu

South Korea has again halted imports of U.S poultry and poultry meat just two months after resuming shipments, following the fresh discovery of bird flu in southwest Indiana last week. 

The South Korean agriculture ministry announced the ban on Monday. The ban will not apply to imports of poultry meat that has been treated with heat, the ministry said in a statement. 

South Korea had lifted a ban on U.S. poultry and fresh meat on Nov. 19, importing about 4,500 metric tons of heat-treated poultry meat and 37,000 chickens since then, according to a Reuters News Service report. It had not imported any meat that had not been heat-treated. 

Animal health officials investigating the bird flu outbreak in southwest Indiana have ordered 156,000 egg-laying chickens to be euthanized at one of 10 commercial poultry farms infected by the H7N8 virus, raising the total number of birds to be killed above 400,000. The egg-laying hens were at a high risk of contracting it themselves, Indiana State Board of Animal Health spokeswoman Denise Derrer told Reuters on Tuesday. 

The H7N8 strain is different than the H5N2 virus that led to the deaths of 48 million birds last summer. All of the turkey farms where the new virus has been found are in Dubois County, Indiana, about 70 miles west of Louisville, Kentucky, which is Indiana's top poultry producer.