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S. Korea further ups guard against ASF as cases from wild boars continue to swell

All News 09:45 December 29, 2020

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Dec. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's agricultural ministry said Tuesday it has further beefed up measures against African swine fever (ASF), including installing more fences, as infections among wild boars could lead to another wave of the pandemic at pig farms.

South Korea has so far identified 898 cases of ASF from wild boars from the inter-Korean border areas since October last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.

"Recently, infected wild boars have been found outside of the fenced area. This could lead to more infections among domestic pigs as well," a ministry official said.

S. Korea further ups guard against ASF as cases from wild boars continue to swell - 1

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

To prevent the spread of the disease, the ministry said it is currently inspecting fences installed in the border areas to prevent wild boars from making contact with domestic pigs.

South Korea also increased the number of staff members searching for remains of wild boars to find traces of ASF.

Authorities have beefed up disinfection measures in 10 major areas that account for around 30 percent of pigs raised in the country, including the provinces of South Chungcheong and Gyeonggi.

"Pig farms should follow preventive measures, which include installing fences and wearing different shoes when entering sheds," the official said.

The fatal animal disease, meanwhile, dealt a harsh blow to the local pig industry last year, infecting 14 farms.

This year, the country identified two more farm-related cases in October after a hiatus of around a year, though no additional infections have since been found.

Local authorities, however, have been vigilant over a series of infections among wild boars, as such cases could lead to more outbreaks in farms.


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