Extra funds considered to pay for FMD losses

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Extra funds considered to pay for FMD losses

The ruling Grand National Party said yesterday it will review all possible measures - including a supplementary budget - to ease the country’s damage from Korea’s worst-ever foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak.

“The disease has hit the country so hard. We will hold a meeting with the administration [tomorrow] and visit the outbreak sites to conduct an objective survey,” said Chung Ok-nim, a spokeswoman for the GNP, shortly after the ruling party’s meeting to come up with a comprehensive measure. “We will actively push forward plans to raise funds required to resolve associated problems.”

Chung also quoted GNP floor leader Kim Moo-sung as saying: “If necessary, we will think about creating a supplementary budget. To have specific countermeasures to fight the disease, financial resources are needed, and we will review all possibilities to meet the need.”

Since the first outbreak was reported on Nov. 23 in Andong, North Gyeongsang, the highly contagious virus has swept all regions nationwide except South Jeolla and Jeju Island. The government has culled more than 3.16 million farm animals as of Monday.

At the GNP meeting, Shim Jae-chul, the party’s chief policy maker, said he will contact the government to speedily arrange funds to stop damages to the environment from culling animals. Contaminated water leaks from burial sites have been reported, creating serious concerns.

“The leaks are directly linked to drinking water, so we have to come up with measures to secure budgets to protect water sources,” he said.

The measures are to be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting and attended by the Grand Nationals and relevant ministers, including the minister for food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries and the minister of land, transport and maritime affairs.

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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