|JANUARY 12, 2011 10:41|
|Six duck farms in Naju and Yeongam County, South Jeolla Province, were found Tuesday to be affected by highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza. |
With the spread of foot-and-mouth disease temporarily halted, quarantine authorities will devise additional measures such as vaccinations of hoofed and even-toed mammals nationwide if food-and-mouth disease spreads to the Jeolla provinces.
The Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said suspected cases of bird flu at three duck farms in Naju and three others in Yeongam were found to be those of the deadly strain of avian influenza.
Suspected cases were also reported in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province.
With 13 farms affected by bird flu in the province, the number of birds culled surpassed 800,000 Tuesday. A quarantine official said, “We are making every effort to prevent the virus that has already affected South Jeolla Province from spreading to other regions.”
Foot-and-mouth disease also broke out in the counties of Hwacheon and Hoengseong, Gangwon Province, and Bonghwa County, North Gyeongsang Province. The disease had spread to more than 10 areas in one day but the number of affected areas declined to three to four after the weekend.
With the disease hitting large livestock farms, the number of animals culled topped 1.4 million as of Tuesday.
An Agriculture Ministry official said, “We are closely watching whether foot-and-mouth disease rapidly spreads in the Chungcheong provinces,” adding, “If the disease breaks out en masse in the Chungcheong provinces, it can spread to the Jeolla provinces, which have yet to be hit by the disease.”
“How the disease will spread over the weekend and early next week is important,” he said. “After watching the situation, we will consider additional measures such as a nationwide vaccination campaign.”