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Military, Civilian Hunters Pursue Wild Boars to Contain ASF

Write: 2019-10-15 15:06:40Update: 2019-10-15 17:56:31

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: South Korea has mobilized the country's military and civilian hunters to hunt down wild boars near its border with North Korea, in a bid to contain the spread of African swine fever(ASF).
Choi You Sun has the details.

Report: South Korea's ministries of defense and environment said on Tuesday that 800 to 900 soldiers and civilian hunters have been deployed to areas bordering North Korea for an operation to hunt down wild boars with guns and traps.

Officials said 70 to 80 teams composed of a dozen military officers and civilian hunters will take part in the operation to stem the further spread of African swine fever(ASF), covering already-affected border towns and other areas within the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) and the Civilian Control Line.

Cage traps will be set up in a bid to reduce the number of wild boars, which will also be stopped from leaving the affected areas.

Following a 48-hour trial period, officials plan to assess the safety and effectiveness of the operation before deciding whether to fully enforce it. 

The move comes amid widening suspicion that wild boars may be responsible for the spread of the deadly animal disease in South Korea.

A sixth wild boar found dead in Yeoncheon County, Gyeonggi Province, near the border on Monday tested positive for the virus.

It was the first case to be reported below the Civilian Control Line after the first-ever ASF-infected wild boar was found within the DMZ earlier this month, suggesting the virus may be expanding south despite efforts to contain it.

At a meeting with officials on Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Kim Hyeon-soo said Seoul has been making efforts to cope with wild boars since North Korea reported its first ASF outbreak in May.

Since mid-September, South Korea has confirmed 14 cases of the disease at local pig farms, all of which are located in the border region.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

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