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South Korea confirms foot-and-mouth disease at pig farm

Staff Writer |
Quarantine officials have slaughtered more than 900 pigs near Seoul, the agriculture ministry said Tuesday, as South Korea confirmed an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) with a rare A-type virus at a pig farm.

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The farm in Gimpo, 30 kilometers northwest from the capital city, on Monday reported a suspected case, and the sick pig tested positive for FMD, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.

Following the initial test, quarantine officials have limited movement of animals and livestock breeders in the nearby region for 48 hours and culled over 900 pigs at the affected farm as part of preventive measures, the ministry said.

An in-depth analysis showed that the pig had an A-type FMD virus, the ministry said. It is the first time that the nation has confirmed a swine FMD case with the rare virus type.

It is the first time that the highly infectious animal disease has been detected at a pig farm since the last case in South Chungcheong Province two years ago, with several cases taking place at cow farms in the central region in February 2017.

A total of 87 A-type FMD cases took place from 2010-2016, and only three pigs were infected with the strain, according to the ministry.

FMD is an acute infectious viral disease of livestock causing fever followed by the development of vesicles chiefly in the mouth and on the feet. It is one of the most infectious diseases for livestock and can spreads rapidly if uncontrolled.

It affects cloven-hoofed animals, including cattle, buffalo, camels, sheep, goats, deer and pigs, and is prevalent in springtime.

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