BEIJING: China will ban imports of poultry and related products from countries where there are outbreaks of highly pathogenic bird flu , the agency that oversees safety of the country's imports said on Wednesday.

China has already banned poultry imports from more than 60 countries . The statement, sent by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine to Reuters, comes as South Korea battles its worst-ever outbreak of bird flu .

About 20 million birds, nearly a quarter of South Korea's poultry stock, have been culled to control the outbreak . The disease has spread to other parts of Asia, including Japan.