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Fresh foot-and-mouth disease case confirmed in South Korea

Staff Writer |
A second foot-and-mouth disease infection was confirmed at a cow farm in South Korea just a day after the first outbreak was reported, the agriculture ministry said.

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Nearly 50 cows at the farm in the southwestern region of North Jeolla Province tested positive for the contagious virus, with all infected livestock culled, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

On Monday, the first infection was confirmed at a dairy farm in central North Chungcheong Province.

Right after the first outbreak, the authorities imposed a ban on the movement of all livestock and farm vehicles across the nation for 30 hours in order to prevent further cases.

Also, the government will vaccinate about 102,000 cows and pigs bred in the country within this week in a way to prevent further spread of foot-and-mouth disease.

It noted that only 5 percent of the infected cows at the North Jeolla farm had antibodies against the food-and-mouth virus as the owners have allegedly been negligent in vaccinating their cows in a bid to save money.

Foot-and-mouth disease, which does not affect humans, is often fatal for cloven-hoofed animals, such as cows, sheep and pigs. South Korea reported its last outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease on March 29 last year.

The country has already been struggling with the rapidly spreading avian influenza for nearly three months, with more than 30 million chickens and ducks culled.

South Korea on Monday imposed a ban on the movement of all livestock and farm vehicles across the nation after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease at a dairy farm, the agriculture ministry said.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said the travel ban was to take effect as of 6 p.m. on that day and last for 30 hours as all people and vehicles are prohibited from entering any farm facility and carrying livestock and dairy products out of their original places.

During the standstill period, all vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected.

The measure came as 195 cows at the farm in Boeun, 180 kilometers southeast of Seoul, of North Chungcheong Province, tested positive for the animal disease.

The ministry said it culled the infected cows right after the outbreak was confirmed.

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