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S. Korea nears containment of foot-and-mouth disease

All Headlines 10:27 April 17, 2010

SEOUL, April 17 (Yonhap) -- Quarantine officials have nearly completed culling all livestock in areas affected by recent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease on Ganghwa Island, officials from the Ganghwa district office said Saturday.

Over 95 percent or some 27,300 animals at 211 farms around the affected areas on the island, located off the west coast, have been culled and buried, a move aimed at preventing the animal disease from spreading to other areas, the officials said.

The animals include over 21,000 pigs, about 38 percent of all hogs on the island, according to the officials.

No additional outbreak has been reported since the last case on April 10, but the officials said they will continue to monitor animals because the disease has an incubation period of up to two weeks.

"We are having difficulties in reaching some of smaller farms, but will mobilize all available personnel to complete the culling process by tomorrow," an official said.

The latest outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease is expected to cost tens, if not hundreds, of billions of won. Seoul officials had declared the country "clear" of the animal disease on March 23, after some 6,000 animals were destroyed at the cost of 42.5 billion won (US$37.9 million).

bdk@yna.co.kr
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