South Korea discovered its first outbreak of deadly African swine fever (ASF) at a pig farm in Paju, South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said on Tuesday.
Paju is located near the border with North Korea. This first case comes less than four months after North Korea reported its first outbreak in late May.
Reuters reports that Kim Hyeon-soo, South Korea’s agriculture minister, said in addition to raising the alert level, nearly 4,000 hogs would be culled to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We will make all efforts to stop the spread of the African swine fever through swift disinfection measures,” Kim said.
South Korea has raised its animal disease alert to the highest level, ordering a nationwide movement ban of hogs and related livestock for 48 hours to curb the spread of the virus, Reuters reports.
South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, does not import any pork products or live pigs from China due to its foot-and-mouth disease outbreak history. It mainly imports from the U.S. and Germany, with pork imports accounting for about a third of the country’s total pork supplies. In 2018, South Korea imported over 570,000 metric tons of pork, according to customs data.
ASF is a deadly disease of both domestic and wild pigs. The disease does not affect humans and poses no food safety risk. However, the complicated virus, which has no cure or vaccine, is causing major upheaval in the global swine industry.
Read more about the spread of ASF at porkbusiness.com/ASF.
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