February 7, 2017 / 10:48 AM / 6 months ago

South Korea to vaccinate all cattle against foot-and-mouth disease

2 Min Read

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's agriculture ministry said on Tuesday it will carry out a nationwide vaccination for cattle against foot-and-mouth disease by Thursday in an attempt to prevent further spread of the virus.

The first case of infection of foot-and-mouth in nearly a year was confirmed on Monday at a dairy farm. A second case was confirmed at a cattle farm later the same day, and 243 cattle on the two farms were culled.

South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, regularly inoculates its cattle and hogs against three types of foot-and-mouth diseases, and the ministry said a wider spread of the virus was unlikely with this outbreak as it was one of the three types the country typically vaccinates against.

However, as the outbreak comes amidst South Korea's worst-ever bird flu epidemic, the agriculture ministry ordered a nationwide re-vaccination of livestock as an extra preventative measure to contain the virus, a ministry spokesman said.

The ministry also said in a statement on Monday that the two effected farms had not vaccinated their cattle properly.

The vaccination of all the country's 3.14 million cattle is expected to cost about 5.3 billion won ($4.6 million), the ministry statement said.

South Korea also imposed a temporary nationwide livestock movement control order for 30 hours, which will end at 1500 GMT on Tuesday.

This is the third time for South Korea to see both bird flu and foot-and-mouth disease occurring simultaneously.

($1 = 1,145.27 won)

Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Tom Hogue

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