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(LEAD) S. Korea to raise guard against ASF over winter

Health 15:10 January 14, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS details in para 3)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea' agricultural ministry said Thursday it will raise its guard against African swine fever (ASF) over the winter as the number of infections among wild boars continued to grow at an alarming rate.

The country has reported 941 ASF cases linked to wild boars since 2019 from inter-Korean border regions, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.

"Currently, the country has around 4.1 wild boars for every square kilometer. We plan to reduce the figure to two, which is considered a manageable level in preventing the spread of the disease," Agricultural Minister Kim Hyun-soo said.

South Korea has been making efforts to prevent the spread of the disease by installing fences and regulating migration of wild boars.

(LEAD) S. Korea to raise guard against ASF over winter - 1

South Korea, meanwhile, has not reported ASF cases traced to farms since October last year.

The ministry said it plans to install more fences in affected areas while making efforts to hunt down more wild boars.

Authorities also urged pig farms to minimize entry of automobiles and enhance disinfection measures.

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

The fatal animal disease dealt a harsh blow to the local pig industry in 2019, infecting 14 farms.

Military officials search for remains of wild boars in Yangyang, 215 kilometers east of Seoul, on Jan. 8, 2021, in this photo provided by the Army. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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