South Korea on guard against African swine fever

South Korea on guard against African swine fever

SEOUL: South Korea said Tuesday it will further raise its guard against African swine fever (ASF) amid a growing number of infections among wild boars, which could potentially spread to pig farms, Yonhap news agency reported.

Since October last year, South Korea has identified a whopping 883 cases of ASF from wild boars in border areas, according to the Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs Ministry.

It said the country earlier installed fences at border areas to prevent wild boars from reaching pig farms, but traces of the disease were discovered from outside of the fenced area in Inje, 165 kilometers east of Seoul.

South Korea said it will also send 35 officials to Inje to search for more remains of wild boars.

“We request pig farms to thoroughly follow preventive guidelines, including applying quicklime around barns,” the ministry said.

The country had suffered a series of ASF outbreaks among domestic pigs last year, which struck 14 farms, Yonhap reported.

After a lull in cases for around a year, South Korea reported two farm-related ASF cases in October this year, though no additional cases were found afterward.

ASF does not affect humans but is deadly to pigs. There is currently no vaccine or cure for the disease.