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(LEAD) African swine fever reemerges; pig cull conducted

All News 11:10 October 09, 2020

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SEOUL, Oct. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Friday it has completed the culling of pigs at a farm that was confirmed to be infected with African swine fever (ASF) and neighboring farms after the first outbreak of the animal disease since October 2019.

The country culled some 1,500 pigs within a 10-kilometer radius of the infected farm, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Three pigs were found dead at a farm in Gangwon Province late Thursday, and test results showed that they were infected with the deadly animal disease. The infected farm had been raising some 940 pigs.

The country issues a special 48-hour travel ban on livestock-related facilities in Gyeonggi and Gangwon Province, effective of 5:00 a.m.

This photo taken on Oct. 9, 2020, shows quarantine workers burying culled pigs near a hog farm in Hwacheon, 120 kilometers east of Seoul, after an outbreak of African swine fever was reported in the region for the first time since October 2019. (Yonhap)

Last year, ASF swept through pig farms in northern regions covering Gyeonggi and Gangwon Provinces, prompting authorities to cull about 400,000 pigs nationwide as part of preventive measures. A total of 14 farms were infected.

Although no new ASF cases had been reported from local farms since October last year, the virus was prevailing among wild boars, which can potentially again infect domestic pigs through contact.

So far, South Korea has reported more than 750 cases of ASF from wild boars from the border areas, according to the latest data.

ASF does not affect humans but is deadly to pigs. There is currently no vaccine or cure for the disease.

South Korea has been moving to allow pig farms in the inter-Korean border area to resume their operations, as no additional cases among domestic pigs were reported for about 11 months.

colin@yna.co.kr
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