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(LEAD) S. Korea, China, Japan to boost border control over swine fever

All Headlines 17:35 November 10, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with background)

SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea, China and Japan agreed Saturday to tighten border control in the latest efforts to ensure that recent outbreaks of a deadly pig virus in China will not spread to the Korean Peninsula.

The agreement was reached in a meeting among South Korea's agricultural minister Lee Gae-ho and his Chinese and Japanese counterparts in Beijing earlier in the day.

The three also vowed to strengthen efforts on the sharing of animal health information; the surveillance, reporting and epidemiological investigation of diseases; and collaborative research on transboundary animal diseases such as avian influenza, foot-and-mouth disease and African swine fever.

"In particular, given the increasing threat of Transboundary Animal Diseases such as African swine fever, cooperation for effective border control among (the) three countries needs to be strengthened," according to a joint communique of the trilateral agricultural ministers' meeting.

The move came two days after China confirmed a new outbreak of the swine fever in east China's Fujian Province.

Among 4,521 pigs raised on a local farm in the city of Putian, 85 pigs were confirmed infected and dead, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Friday, citing the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

In August, the swine fever broke out in the northeastern city of Shenyang in the country's first outbreak of African swine fever.

The three ministers also agreed to hold a meeting among livestock officials to share policies and the status of the livestock industry and to exchange opinions on areas of interest for the three countries.

There is no effective vaccine against African swine fever, whose fatality rate is 100 percent. The disease poses no direct threat to human health, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

China has slaughtered more than 24,000 pigs in four provinces to try to stem the spread of the disease. China accounts for approximately half the global population of swine, estimated at 500 million, according to the U.N. agency.

The virus is very hardy and can survive long periods in very cold and very hot weather, and even in dried or cured pork products, it said.


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