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·         Hog-raising industry alarmed by spread of swine fever

·         ASF South Korea: More farms and wild boar infected



Hog-raising industry alarmed by spread of swine fever

Hog farms are in every part of S. Korea, except Seoul


By Kim Yon-se, The Korea Herald (S.Korea) 

Oct 8, 2019


SEJONG -- It is now close to one month since the nation’s first case of African swine fever was confirmed in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, on Sept. 17.


The number of outbreaks of the deadly animal virus came to 13 as of 4 p.m., Oct. 8 -- eight in Gyeonggi Province and five in Incheon. All the affected regions are close to the inter-Korean border: Paju, Gyeonggi Province, with five cases; Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province, with one case; Ganghwa County, Incheon, with five cases; and Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province, with two cases.


While there have been suspected cases in six other locations, all the pigs there tested negative for the virus. Those cases occurred in Yangju, Hwaseong and Pocheon, all in Gyeonggi Province; Ongjin County, Incheon; and Hongseong and Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province.


According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, 145,546 pigs at 89 farms in Paju, Yeoncheon, Gimpo and Ganghwa have been culled so far.


Though the disease has yet to spread to the southern or eastern parts of the country, possibly due to an aggressive state-led sanitization program, quarantine authorities have yet to find the point of origin or route of transmission.


Some experts have raised the possibility that the virus, which causes a highly contagious hemorrhagic fever in pigs, could have spread to domesticated pigs from wild boars from North Korea, where a case of ASF was reported in May.


The virus was detected in a wild boar found dead Oct. 2 in the Demilitarized Zone in Yeoncheon.


Some hog-raising industry insiders have suggested that the virus may have spread to other locations in northern Gyeonggi from the farm in Paju where the first case was reported via fomites such as farm equipment and transportation trucks.


Gimpo and Ganghwa are located west of Paju, and Yeoncheon is located east of Paju. All these areas are close to the southern part of North Korea, not far from the city of Kaesong and the counties of Kaepung and Changpung.


The National Intelligence Service stated in a Sept. 24 report to the National Assembly that it had evidence of a series of ASF outbreaks across North Korea since July.


The North is reportedly taking a lukewarm stance toward the South’s suggestion that the two sides work together to prevent epidemics.


African swine fever has a 100 percent mortality rate for infected pigs, but doctors and veterinarians say it cannot infect humans.


Though government officials clarified that cooked pork would present little risk even if the pigs had the virus, recent outbreaks affected pork prices. Consumer pork prices climbed 6.5 percent on-year (and 4.9 percent from a month earlier) to trade at 21,560 won ($18) per kilogram as of October 7.


Given the virus’s incubation period, which ranges from a week to 19 days, there is an urgent need to prevent contagion to farms in the southern and eastern Gyeonggi communities of Hwaseong, Pyeongtaek, Osan, Anseong, Yongin, Icheon and Yeoju.


Market insiders are issuing alarm bells, saying the hog-raising industry in South Korea might collapse altogether if the disease continues to spread through Gyeonggi and into neighboring provinces.


An official from the Agriculture Ministry said local governments had already taken protective measures to disinfect farms and farm equipment over the past three weeks.


According to Statistics Korea...


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ASF South Korea: More farms and wild boar infected


Vincent ter Beek, Pig Progress 

Oct 9, 2019    


Updates about African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks have become relatively sparse from Asia lately – but this week Laos and South Korea have provided updates. In both countries the developments do not give reason for optimism.


South Korea reported 5 new outbreaks to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) – again all very close to the border with North Korea. In total the Koreans culled 7,519 animals at these 5 locations – 3 of them had over 2,000 pigs on-site, the largest had 2,800 pigs at the facility.


What is worrisome is that the virus has been found in a dead wild boar as well – at about 2km from the border with North Korea, in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). This extended border area is strongly fortified with barbed wire. The animal was found 32km north east of the nearest known farm site infected with ASF. It is hoped that the disease will not become endemic in the country’s wild boar population.


The total count of registered outbreaks in South Korea is now 14, leading to the culling of 23,000 pigs altogether until now. They were found in an area that is 90km wide. Striking is that all locations are within 20km of the border with North Korea, which makes it tempting to believe there must be quite a lot of ASF-related problems going on in the normally very closed North Korea. This country officially only reported 1 minor outbreak to the OIE, near the border with China on May 23.


ASF outbreaks on Laos’ borders ...


Has ASF entered Thailand? ...


ASF situation in the Philippines ...


ASF in China: need for heavier pigs ...


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