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South Korea continues to battle livestock disease

By Chloe Ryan , 08-Apr-2015

A total of 151 cases have been confirmed at cattle and pig farms
A total of 151 cases have been confirmed at cattle and pig farms

South Korea is continuing to fight outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which despite a cull of millions and a vaccination programme have not yet been eradicated.

Since the first reported outbreak of FMD on 3 December, a total of 151 cases in pig and cattle farms have been confirmed. To date 139,000 head on 160 farms have been culled.

According to a USDA report, FMD cases have recently spread to new areas and the number of cases is increasing rather than falling.

The Korean government attributes this to an increased number of reports being filed and more tests being carried out of as a result of enhanced quarantine measures.

It is introducing compensation for those who support suspected cases, and provincial governments are taking action against farmers who intentionally avoid or delay reporting suspected cases.

In addition, 800,000 doses of a new type of vaccine will be distributed to farms in FMD-infected areas and the government is planning to import another 2.4 million doses. 

Outbreaks of HPAI have led to a cull of 3.88 million birds from 163 farms. The government is tackling the outbreak, which so far has 133 confirmed cases, by appointing "surveillance people" who will check traditional markets where live chickens and ducks are sold.

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