African swine fever infects pig farm in Gangwon
The government decided to cull around 2,500 pigs in Hwacheon County, Gangwon, after confirming cases of African swine fever (ASF) on Friday.
This was the first time in a year that the disease was found in farm pigs.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, three female pigs were found dead in a slaughterhouse in Cheorwon County, Gangwon, on Thursday, all of which were later confirmed to have been infected by the disease. They were among eight pigs from the Hwacheon pig farm.
Upon confirming ASF in the pigs, the government decided to cull all 945 pigs on the farm that supplied them and an additional 1,525 from two farms located within 10 kilometers (6 miles). ASF currently has no known cure and culling is the only way to prevent its spread.
The government also ordered a 48-hour lockdown on pig farms, slaughterhouses, feed factories and vehicles working at such facilities in Gangwon and Gyeonggi until Sunday 5 a.m.
Wild boars had been affected by the ASF in Hwacheon, but this was the first time pigs on farms were affected. The farm that supplied the three dead pigs was only 250 meters (820 feet) away from the point where wild boars were found with ASF.
In the county, around 290 wild boar carcasses have been found with infections so far.
“Hwacheon was a region where an outbreak was likely,” said Ahn Jae-wan, a ministry official in ASF prevention for Gangwon. "The latest infection came despite our prevention efforts like installing fences and capturing wild boars."
After the first outbreak in Paju, Gyeonggi, in September 2019, more than 430,000 pigs were culled to prevent the spread of ASF. Thinking the disease had died down, the Agriculture Ministry was starting to ease regulations regarding pig farms. On Aug. 9, farms that had culled pigs due to the ASF outbreak in Gyeonggi and Gangwon were allowed to restart taking in new pigs. That was halted indefinitely on Friday.
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [email@example.com]