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S. Korea on Alert after 1st African Swine Fever Detected

Write: 2019-09-17 12:20:43Update: 2019-09-17 17:42:34

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: South Korea on Tuesday reported its first ever confirmed case of African swine fever(ASF). The government raised the risk level of the disease to the highest level and is exerting all-out efforts to contain its spread.
Our Hong Suhryung has more. 

Report: 

[Sound bite: emergency briefing at Agriculture Ministry (Sep. 17)] 

The first case of African swine fever in South Korea has been confirmed at a pig farm in northern Gyeonggi Province. 

During an emergency media briefing Tuesday morning just hours after the detection, Agriculture Minister Kim Hyeon-soo said the government is doing all it can to prevent the spread of the fatal animal disease.

[Sound bite: Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Kim Hyeon-soo (Korean)] 
"We've completed initial quarantine measures by culling three-thousand-950 pigs at the farm where ASF was detected and at another farm owned by the same person... Starting from 6:40 a.m. today, a 48-hour nationwide standstill has been imposed on pig farms, slaughter houses, feed factories and related vehicles...."  

No other cases have so far been confirmed within a three kilometer radius of the farm where five female pigs died after contracting the disease. 

While raising the national ASF alert to the highest level, the government is investigating the source of the disease.

[Sound bite: Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Kim Hyeon-soo (Korean)] 
"African swine fever is not a zoonotic disease. Since it cannot infect humans, people may consume domestic pork without any concern."

Although the highly contagious disease is harmless to humans, the animal mortality rate can be as high as 100 percent, according to the World Organization for Animal Health.

The virus has already damaged livestock industries in neighboring countries, including China where the pig supply reportedly shrank by about 40 percent on-year after its first case of ASF was detected last year. 

African swine fever then spread to the Philippines, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and North Korea. 

The Agriculture Ministry has urged pig farms to immediately report any suspicious symptoms if detected. 
Hong Suhryung, KBS World Radio News.

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