S Korea to ban Japanese meat imports

21:10, April 23, 2010      

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The South Korean government said Friday that it will ban all imports of Japanese meat products from cloven-hoofed animals, after Japan confirmed an outbreak of the foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease.

The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said that the ban follows Tokyo's confirmation of the positive test in three cows at a farm in Miyazaki Prefecture that was initially suspected of being infected with the FMD virus.

However, the ministry said the ban will not have much of an effect since South Korea's total meat imports from Japan amounted to a mere 7.2 million U.S. dollars in 2009, and 1.7 million U.S. dollars so far in 2010.

The highly infectious foot-and-mouth disease can affect cloven- hoofed animals including pigs, sheep and goats, while humans are hardly affected by the virus.

South Korea on Thursday confirmed the eighth case of an FMD outbreak in April alone, after the first outbreak in eight years came early January at a local cattle farm located in Pochen, 45 km north of Seoul.

Source: Xinhua


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