FMD wipes out one-third of South Korea’s pigs

ONE third of South Korea’s pig herd has been wiped out by foot-and-mouth, an Asian veterinary conference has heard.

Since the outbreak was discovered in November 2010, 3.25 million pigs have been slaughtered out of a herd of 9.9m. In addition, 151,000 of cattle and ‘relatively small’ amounts of deer and goats have also been culled, Sacha Seneque, of Merial Australia, told the Asian Pig Veterinary Society (APVS) Congress, in Pattaya, Thailand.

South Korea had successfully applied a strategy that included ring vaccination during two earlier FMD outbreaks in 2009 and 2010. But the current outbreak requires a ‘stronger approach’, she is reported as saying on the global vetsweb.com website.

Most of the country’s north, middle and south have been ‘hit hard, with a major impact on daily life as prices for milk and pork have gone up’.

Dr Seneque warned that water and soil may be contaminated by buried carcasses, meat consumption is decreasing, agricultural jobs are being lost and festivals are having to be cancelled due to transport restrictions.

She discussed the long-term ‘SEACFMD’ plan, in which many Asian countries are working together to find a longer-term solution for FMD, with the goal of eventually eradicating the disease from the South East Asia mainland.

Four regions have been identified as potential sources of FMD - South Thailand, the heart of Myanmar, the southern tip of Vietnam and a region comprising north west Vietnam and a part of Laos.

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