In this file:
· African swine fever spreads across South Korea with alarming speed
· South Korea confirms 2nd case of African swine fever
· Pig farm near inter-Korean border reports second case of African swine fever
African swine fever spreads across South Korea with alarming speed
Local governments nationwide take measure to prevent further spread
By Park Kyung-man, North Gyeonggi correspondent, Hankyoreh (S.Korea)
“I knew it was going to come at some point. I just didn’t think it would happen so soon.”
Lee Un-sang, the 74-year-old chairman of the Paju pork producers’ association, let out a long sigh as he spoke. At 3 pm on Sept. 17, excavators went to work digging up dirt and burying all 3,950 pigs from a pig farm near the Yeondasan neighborhood in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, where cases of swine fever were confirmed to have occurred, along with two other nearby family-run farms. The agency responsible for the culling separated the pigs into 10 30-ton fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) tanks and buried them in sites on the farms.
“There’s not very much you can do besides thorough pen sterilization and restrictions on outside travel, so people are very worried,” Lee said.
The sense of concern is growing among swine farmers with the breaching of control measures against the spread of African swine fever. After previously having to bury some 1.2 million pigs due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, on Nov. 28, 2010, swine farmers were visibly fearful that the African swine fever situation could turn into a repeat of the same episode.
“We’ve put up a control line at the farm entrance to restrict people and vehicles from coming and going, but it’s worrying. We’re hoping a vaccine can be produced quickly,” said a 57-year-old farmer surnamed Seong, who is raising 950 pigs in Yeoncheon.
Another swine farmer said, “Fortunately enough, there aren’t any swine farms near the one where the outbreak occurred, which I think will help with the control measures.”
“The contagion also isn’t spreading as fast as the foot-and-mouth disease, so I’m anticipating that with good control measures, it won’t spread as far as it did in Vietnam,” the farmer added hopefully.
Gyeonggi Province placed restrictions on movement for all swine farms in the Paju area as of 6 pm on Sept. 16, when a report on the deaths of five brood sows at one farm was reported. On the morning of Sept. 17, around 140 government officials were sent to 12 locations in the Paju region to manage 24 control posts. Sterilization base facilities were also set up at three locations: the agricultural technology center, Nakha Village in Tanhyeon Township, and Duji Village in Jeokseong Township. In an emergency video conference with deputy local government heads within the province that morning, Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung promised to “marshal all resources from the early stages to prevent a spread.”
But fears have been growing amid reports that 198 pigs from the Paju farm where African swine fever cases were confirmed were transported to slaughterhouses in Incheon and Gimpo over the past 10 days, as well as news that the Paju farm was recently visited by livestock industry officials in South Chungcheong Province, which is home to South Korea’s largest swine farming complex.
“While it was not distributed commercially, there is the possibility of the virus being transferred during the transport process, so we’re currently tracking that,” said an official from the Gyeonggi Province animal health and hygiene division.
Local governments throughout South Korea sprang into action to control the outbreak, including bans on the transporting of pigs within their borders. Gangwon Province, which neighbors Gyeonggi, set up a prevention headquarters...
South Korea confirms 2nd case of African swine fever
By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press
via The Bellingham Herald (WA) - September 18, 2019
SEOUL, South Korea | South Korea on Wednesday confirmed a second case of African swine fever near its border with North Korea, raising concerns that the outbreak could spread and wreak havoc on the country's massive pig herds.
Officials were planning to cull some 5,000 pigs raised at a farm in the town of Yeoncheon after the highly contagious disease was confirmed in tests of a dead pig, a South Korean agriculture ministry official said.
Officials culled nearly 4,000 pigs and stepped up quarantine efforts Tuesday after confirming the country's first case of the disease at the nearby city of Paju.
African swine fever is harmless to humans but very contagious and fatal for pigs. It has decimated herds in China and other Asian countries and there is no known cure.
There are about 6,300 farms in South Korea that raise more than 11 million pigs.
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said wild animals, vehicles or even human travel may be causing the virus to spread. Officials are looking into the possibility that the disease was introduced by wild boars following an earlier outbreak in North Korea.
"I urge you to quickly respond and do whatever you can," Lee said.
The agriculture ministry said officials also were stepping up disinfection of farms and vehicles and restricting movements of farmers, animals and visitors to contain the disease.
"We will obviously cull the 4,700 pigs raised at the Yeoncheon farm and could cull more pigs at farms in neighboring areas if needed," said the ministry official, who declined to be named, citing office rules.
Gyeonggi province, which governs Yeoncheon and Paju, canceled a slew of events that had been planned in the towns through October, including a pop concert, a marathon and ceremonies marking the first anniversary of a Pyongyang summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last September. A film festival that was to open on Friday at the border village of Imjingak was moved to Goyang city.
The outbreak in South Korea comes after months of heightened monitoring efforts at border area farms after the disease spread to North Korea in May.
North Korea in recent months has virtually scrapped all diplomatic activity and cooperation with South Korea amid a standstill in nuclear negotiations with the United States, and has ignored repeated South Korean calls for joint efforts to stem the spread of the disease.
South Korean investigators are tracing the source of the outbreak, and officials say it isn't immediately clear if the disease would have crossed from the North.
Seoul's Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, said…
Pig farm near inter-Korean border reports second case of African swine fever
Lim Chang-won Reporter, Aju Business Daily
September 18, 2019
SEOUL -- The second case of African swine fever was reported at a pig farm near the inter-Korean border, a day after the first confirmed case triggered a nationwide standstill for sterilization, raising concerns about the spread of the deadly and highly contagious animal virus.
Quarantine officials detected the virus of African swine fever (ASF) Wednesday from a pig which was found dead the previous day at a farm in the frontline town of Baekhak in Yeoncheon County, which borders North Korea, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Some 2,000 pigs are being raised at the farm in Baekhak, 35 kilometers (22 miles) northeast of a farm in Paju where the first ASF case was confirmed on Tuesday. Some 4,700 pigs have been culled in Paju with the movement of pigs, people, vehicles and equipment banned at 6,309 farms, slaughterhouses and feed factories.
Quarantine officials have yet to complete an epidemiologic investigation, but the Seoul government decided to control the population of wild boars in border areas...