In this file:


·         Pig Farms in Border Towns Desperate to Prevent Swine Fever

·         Seoul: NKorea ignores calls for joint African swine efforts



Pig Farms in Border Towns Desperate to Prevent Swine Fever


by The Korea Bizwire

June 5, 2019


PAJU/SEOUL, Jun. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean border towns are on maximum alert for the possible outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) as the viral disease was recently reported in neighboring North Korea.


After an ASF outbreak was reported in North Korea last week, the government designated 10 border towns in Gyeonggi and Gangwon Provinces as “special surveillance areas,” where some 530,000 pigs are being raised.


Pig farms there have been going all-out to prevent ASF, with all human and auto traffic strictly controlled 24 hours a day, along with repeated disinfection and insect extermination efforts.


“As there’s no ASF cure, I’m only spraying disinfectant again and again … I’m just stuck with pigs all day long,” Kim Jae-moon, 71, said at a farm in Paju, north of Seoul, Wednesday.


The biggest worry is that ASF could be transmitted via wild pigs which inhabit border areas, although the chances of a spread of the disease from the North are low as a double row of barbed-wire fences is installed between the two Koreas.


But quarantine authorities are concerned over possible transmission via infected carcasses that may drift to the border areas through the Imjin and Han rivers or the West Sea.


Wild boars, along with pork products, are pinpointed as a major vehicle that have spread the animal disease in China and Southeast Asia in recent years.


“If ASF breaks out in the country, the most urgent priority is to capture wild pigs,” Kim Jong-woo, the head of the Korea Pork Producers Association’s (KPPA) quarantine committee, said.


The government, therefore, plans to provide funding for the installation of trap cages at farms.


But experts say a more effective method is to capture wild boars by using guns.


Kim also said guns are mostly used in foreign countries in catching wild pigs as trap cages are not effective.


Apart from that, the government plans to...





Seoul: NKorea ignores calls for joint African swine efforts


By: Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press

via KCAU/ (IA) - Jun 05, 2019


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea said Wednesday North Korea has so far ignored its calls for joint efforts to stem the spread of highly contagious African swine fever following an outbreak near North Korea's border with China.


South Korea's agricultural ministry said that blood tests of pigs from some 340 farms near the inter-Korean border conducted through Tuesday came back negative. Hundreds of fences and traps have been installed around the farms to prevent pigs from being infected by wild boars that roam in and out of North Korea.


But the lack of bilateral cooperation renders South Korea helpless in preventing the disease from reaching North Korean farms near the border. There's concern that an outbreak in South Korea would deal a significant blow to a massive industry that involves 6,300 farms raising more than 11 million pigs.


South Korea's Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, said the North hasn't responded to proposals for joint quarantine efforts since it reported an outbreak near its border with China to the World Organization for Animal Health, or the OIE, last week. The North said 77 of the 99 pigs at the cooperative farm in Jagang province died of the disease and the remaining 22 pigs were culled.


The outbreak comes as the North has significantly slowed its engagement with South Korea following the collapse of a February summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump over disagreements for sanctions relief in exchange for North Korea's nuclear disarmament.


Lee Sang-min, the Unification Ministry's spokesman, said the North has not separately communicated with the South over the outbreak although the Koreas last year agreed to share information when contagious diseases break out.


"It seems we will have to wait longer for the North's response," he said.


African swine fever, which has decimated pig herds in China and other Asian countries, is harmless to humans but for pigs is fatal and highly contagious. There is no known cure or vaccine.


North Korean state media in recent weeks have published several articles detailing the spread of African swine fever across Asia, but none of them so far has specifically mentioned that the disease has reached the North.


"To prevent African swine fever from spreading, it's crucial to detect and slaughter the pigs infected with the virus at the right time," North Korean scientist Jon Sung Chil said in an interview published Wednesday on Pyongyang's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, which called for an all-out effort by the North's farming industry and homes to prevent the spread of the disease.


South Korean government believes the North raises about 2.6 million pigs in 14 government-run or cooperative farms. Oh Beom-seok, an official from South Korea's agriculture ministry, said the South is prepared to provide diagnosis kits, disinfectants and other equipment should the North ask for help.


"We are trying to gain as much information possible from the OIE or North Korean officials there ... but so far, there has been no additional report of an outbreak (in North Korea)," Oh said...