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S. Korea to boost animal disease-related R&D amid spread of ASF

All News 17:00 December 06, 2019

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Friday it will revamp research and development (R&D) policies to better tackle animal diseases in response to the outbreaks of African swine fever in the nation earlier this year.

"Previously, the government-led research projects on animal diseases only focused on avian influenza and foot-and-mouth disease, making the country vulnerable to other diseases, such as African swine fever," South Korea's agricultural and fishery ministries said in a joint statement.

But research activities will be expanded to cover other animal diseases, it said, adding that the new blueprint, which centers on promoting exhaustive R&D projects, will allow the country to cope with various diseases more efficiently.

In line with the efforts, South Korea will focus its efforts on 20 selected animal diseases with a goal of beginning full-fledged research in 2022.

South Korea will also expand ties with overseas institutions to keep close track of animal diseases overseas, and penetrate deeper into the global market for pharmaceutical goods for animals.

To cope with a shortage of related experts in the country, Seoul will spend 8 billion won (US$6.73 million) from 2020 to 2034 to install customized courses at local universities.

The blueprint will be reflected in South Korea's R&D investment guideline for 2021.

South Korea has culled around 400,000 pigs in the northern part of the country this year, after experiencing its first-ever ASF outbreak in September. No outbreaks have been reported from pig farms so far since early October, but South Korea has been remaining vigilant in checking for further spread by wild boars.

S. Korea to boost animal disease-related R&D amid spread of ASF - 1

colin@yna.co.kr
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