Wednesday, December 29, 2010

South Korea Raises Alert Level as Foot-and-Mouth Disease Spreads Nationwide

Nearly 470,000 cattle, pigs and sheep have been culled in attempt to contain a fast-spreading outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in South Korea.

[Maeng Hyung-kyu, Minister of Public Administration and Security]:
"On December 29th we have raised the alert level of cattle disease to 'red' and decided to form a central anti-disaster headquarters, which will be chaired by the Minister of Public Administration and Security, so that we can use all available resources to help stem the disease."

The disease is spread by a highly contagious virus that affects cloven-hoofed animals. But the disease and meat from infected animals are not harmful to humans.

The government said vaccines would be administered to over 236,000 animals in 12 regions.

The disease has prompted the closure of nearly 100 livestock markets throughout the country and has increased prices of beef and pork. It could cause a rise in exports from the United States and Australia.

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