S Korea seeks to produce FMD vaccines in 2012

14:53, July 26, 2011      

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South Korea will produce vaccines for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) as early as next year after being plagued by the worst outbreak of the disease in its history earlier this year, a government agency said Tuesday.

The Animal, Plant and Fisheries Quarantine and Inspection Agency under the Farm Ministry announced that it has selected five local companies to import FMD antigens from foreign manufacturers and to learn vaccine production technology.

South Korea currently relies completely on imports for FMD vaccines.

"Local production of FMD vaccines is less expensive and enables a stable supply of the products," a farm ministry official was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

Seoul vaccinated more than 13 million heads of cattle and pigs in the country to contain its worst outbreak of the highly contagious animal disease that began November last year. Authorities culled 3.47 million heads of pigs and cattle at a cost of more than three trillion won (2.8 billion U.S. dollars).

No FMD case has been reported in the country since late May.

Source: Xinhua
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