KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 – South Korea is the latest Asian country to be hit with African swine fever (ASF), after authorities found an outbreak at a pig farm in Paju near the border with North Korea.
South Korea raised its animal disease alert to the highest level, and will also be culling nearly 4,000 pigs to curb the disease from spreading, according to Reuters, citing the agriculture ministry.
The ministry also declared a nationwide movement ban of hogs and related livestock for 48 hours while looking into the source of the virus.
“We will make all efforts to stop the spread of African swine fever through swift disinfection measures,”South Korea’s agriculture minister Kim Hyeon-soo was quoted telling reporters.
The case comes barely four months after North Korea reported its first outbreak in late May.
South Korea has a pig population of 11.3 million, according to Statistics Korea, and pork is the nation’s most popular meat.
ASF, which is not harmful to humans but causes haemorrhagic fever in pigs that almost always ends in death, was first recorded in China in August 2018, and has since spread to Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Mongolia and North Korea.
Just last week, the Philippines reported its first outbreak of ASF and announced that more than 7,000 pigs were culled in two towns near Manila.