SOUTH KOREA - The government continues with efforts to control Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) in swine and cattle.
Although vaccination efforts and culling of affected animals seems to have proven effective in controlling mass spreading of the diseases, it has not resulted in eradication.
Status of FMD outbreak
Since the first outbreak of FMD on December 3, 2014, a total of 151 cases (147 cases in swine farms and 4 cases in cattle farms) have been confirmed positive.
To date, a total of 139,061 head (including the culling of 4,374 heads on 9 farms as a preventive measure) on 160 farms have been culled.
FMD cases that were mostly found in certain areas (Hongsung and Chunahn areas, etc.) have recently spread to new areas (Kyungju, Ahsan, etc.).
Also, the number of cases is increasing rather than dropping. The numbers increased from 26 cases in December 2014 to 45 cases in January, 48 cases in February and 32 cases as of 17 March 2015.
The Korean government attributes the cause for such a rise in the number of cases to an increased number of reports filed and an increased number of tests as a result of enhanced quarantine measures.
Recently implemented quarantine measures increased testing on swine coming from areas with known FMD cases and prior to shipping pigs to slaughter plants, as well as testing of trucks transporting feed and livestock.
Due to such measures, the Korean government assumes that the farms which had not reported, or avoided reporting, suspected cases are being detected.
The Korean government plans to encourage reporting of suspected cases through compensation to those who report such cases while provincial governments take legal action against farmers that intentionally avoid or delay reporting of suspected cases.
The Korean government also imported 800,000 doses of a new type of polyvalent vaccine on 16 March and will distribute it to farms located in the areas where there have been FMD cases.
South Korea currently has 6.85 million doses of the old vaccine that it has been using since January 2012. This will continue to be supplied to swine farms located in areas where there have not been any FMD cases and also cattle farms.
The Korean government plans to continue to secure more vaccine beyond March to avoid any shortage.
TheCattleSite News Desk