SEJONG, Jan. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The government decided Friday to extend its pig movement restrictions for a southwestern province for seven days to help stem the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
Two new cases of the highly contagious animal disease were confirmed at pig farms in Gimje and Gochang, North Jeolla Province, earlier in the month, the Agriculture Ministry said. It said the outbreaks in the southwestern part of the country caused 10,842 animals to be culled.
“The restrictions will be pushed back to midnight on Jan. 29 and bars all pigs raised in the province from being sent to other parts of the country,” it said. “No pigs raised in North Jeolla have left the province in the last week.”
The ministry said all livestock at Gimje and Gochang have been vaccinated to prevent the further spread of FMD.
It said the severe cold weather is hampering decontamination efforts, while the upcoming Lunar New Year that falls on Feb. 8 of this year can pose challenges in controlling the spread of the animal disease.
Most people in South Korea visit family and friends during the three day holiday. Such nationwide travel could possibly spread the disease.
South Korea reported its first FMD outbreak in nine months on Jan. 12.
FMD is a “List A” disease as designated by the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health. Countries that report the disease are barred from exporting meat from all cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep and goats.
Since 2002, the country has reported six outbreaks of FMD with three occurring in 2010.
Not counting the latest cases, the country spent some 3.04 trillion won (US$2.53 billion) to contain FMD outbreaks so far that include money spent on compensating farmers and sweeping decontamination efforts.’