S. Korea considers vaccinating pigs against FMD

21:41, January 04, 2011      

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South Korea is seriously contemplating stepping up vaccination efforts in the face of the rampant spread of foot-and-mouth (FMD) disease across the country, according to local reports on Tuesday.

According to Seoul's Yonhap News Agency, the agriculture ministry is considering a move to vaccinate pigs to contain the further spread of the highly contagious animal disease.

"The issue was touched at a recent meeting of the livestock quarantine consultation committee," a source from the agriculture ministry was quoted by Yonhap as saying.

The government said on Dec. 22 that it will carry out vaccination on cattle to combat the disease despite the risk of a long export ban by overseas buyers.

The latest move comes as South Korea is struggling with the severest outbreak of the animal disease in its history, which has hit six provinces and cities so far.

The agriculture ministry and local governments confirmed four additional outbreaks earlier in the day, raising the confirmed number of officially counted cases of the disease to 85 after its first outbreak in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province on Nov. 29.

Seoul has ordered the culling of over 778,850 animals while 700, 000 cattle are slated to receive vaccines.

South Korea was struck by the disease in 2000, 2002 and two more times early last year.

Source: Xinhua
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