Gov't Struggles to Contain African Swine Fever

  • By Shin Su-ji

    September 25, 2019 11:54

    African swine fever has broken out at another pig farm in Incheon, bringing the total of confirmed cases to five and raising fears that the disease is spreading inexorably southward.

    The first case of ASF was detected last Tuesday in Paju near the demilitarized zone, but now it has spread to Gimpo and Incheon.

    The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said samples collected from the Incheon farm, which houses 400 pigs, tested positive for ASF just one day after the virus was detected in Gimpo.

    The region was not included among six districts in Gyeonggi Province that have already been quarantined.

    Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (far left) chairs an emergency meeting at the government complex in Seoul Tuesday. /Newsis

    Earlier on Tuesday, another case of ASF was confirmed in Paju on a farm raising 2,300 pigs just 6.9 km away from the second confirmed case.

    Responding to criticism that the government is not doing enough to prevent an epidemic, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon called an emergency meeting on Tuesday and said, "We have to admit that quarantine measures were not perfect." He pledged to bolster quarantine controls to prevent the further spread of the highly contagious disease.

    An investigation by the ministry found that the pig farms where the second, third and fourth ASF cases were confirmed had been in contact by vehicle with the farm where the first case was spotted.

    There are fears that ASF is spreading south because vehicles that visited some of the affected farms traveled not only to Gangwon Province in the west but also south to North Gyeongsang Province and South Jeolla Province.

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