South Korean authorities have destroyed thousands of ducks at four southern farms, after discovering what they call a "low pathogenic" strain of the bird flu virus.

Officials say the virus turned up on a farm near the southern city of Gwangju, about 250 kilometers south of Seoul. As a precaution, they destroyed 3,800 ducks on that farm and more than 12,000 at three other farms in the area.

This case of bird flu is a strain, known as H7 that is not highly contagious to humans.

South Korea's poultry exports were hit hard by seven outbreaks of the potentially deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu between November 2006 and March of this year.

The World Health Organization says at least 206 people have died from that strain of bird flu since 2003. No human deaths have been reported in South Korea.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP  and Reuters.