Foot-and-Mouth, Bird Flu Spread

      January 18, 2011 08:49

      A foot-and-mouth disease epidemic that started in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province in late November has now spread to 50 small cities and towns in five provinces, with a total of 128 separate outbreaks reported until Monday.

      Nearly 2 million livestock have been culled, including some 132,000 heads of cattle and 1.85 million pigs. Compensation payments for affected farm households have risen to W1.2 trillion (US$1=W1,119). The previous record of culled livestock was 160,155 in 2002.

      With the disease continuing to spread, the government last Thursday started to vaccinate all cattle and pigs nationwide, which has slowed the spread. There were no reports of suspected new cases on Sunday.

      Meanwhile, 26 cases of highly contagious bird flu have broken out in Gyeonggi, South Chungcheong, and North and South Jeolla provinces.

      Health authorities culled about 3.572 million chickens and ducks to prevent the spread of bird flu. In 2008, 10 million chickens and ducks were culled after 33 separate outbreaks.

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