Foot-and-mouth disease quarantine rules revised

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Foot-and-mouth disease quarantine rules revised

Korea has revised its foot-and-mouth disease quarantine rules to limit the culling of livestock, as the effects of vaccinations should better protect animals from the contagious virus, the government said yesterday.

Deputy Farm Minister Lee Sang-kil told reporters that with vaccinations completed for most cattle farms across the country, the government has issued new rules to stem the spread of FMD.

“Under the new rules, only infected animals and newborn calves that have not developed FMD antibodies are to be destroyed,” he said. “Those that show no symptoms will not be culled although they will be subject to detailed tests and barred from leaving the farm.”

The move comes after Seoul ordered the vaccination of livestock on Dec. 25, after quarantine efforts were unable to stop the spread of the highly contagious animal disease that was first confirmed in late November.

Over 2.28 million cattle, pigs, goats and deer have been culled across the country, and all of the remaining 13 million livestock are in the process of being inoculated.

Total costs of culling and vaccination are expected to exceed 2 trillion won ($1.79 billion).

The farm ministry, meanwhile, said it confirmed two additional cases of FMD. One was in Gangwon in the country’s northeastern region and the other at a cattle ranch in Yesan, 134 kilometers south of Seoul.

The outbreak in Gangwon involved the provincial-run Hoengseong livestock research institute that houses specially raised cattle that provide sperm for new calves.

Quarantine officials said only seven of the 487 animals in the institute have been ordered culled, with no other farms in the nearby area subject to precautionary culling.

In response to the outbreak in Yesan, all 25 cows will be destroyed because they received vaccines recently that did not give the animals enough time to develop antibodies.


Yonhap

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