Posted December. 25, 2010 16:25,
With foot and mouth disease rapidly spreading in Gangwon Province and showing signs of invading North Gyeongsang Province, a record number of animals is being culled and that of affected areas is fast increasing.
Additional cases of the disease were confirmed Friday at Yeongcheon, North Gyeongsang Province, and Ganghwa County in Incheon, expanding the number of affected areas to four provinces and 21 counties.
Quarantine authorities were at a loss after the disease was confirmed to have spread to a pig farm in Yeongcheon and a suspected case at a pig farm in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, was reported.
The southern regions of North Gyeongsang had been considered immune from the disease.
What is problematic is that the Yeongcheon pig farm raises more than 24,000 seed pigs. The farm is the biggest among those affected by the disease and also has seven affiliate farms in Yeongcheon.
The government said, The farm raises piglets and sends them to its affiliate farms, adding, The affiliate farms use the same feed and are under the same management system, so we`ve decided to cull all 17,770 pigs in the seven farms.
The farm, however, did not distribute its products nationwide. An official at the Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said, The farm has sold its animals to farms nearby but didnt do the same nationwide.
Quarantine officials are tracing pigs raised at the farm but face difficulty because the farm raised a huge number of pigs.
In Hoengseong County, Gangwon Province, three cases of the disease were confirmed over the past two days. Ganghwa County in Incheon, where the disease broke out in April, is poised to suffer from it again.
Ganghwa and Pocheon, Gimpo and Yeoncheon in Gyeonggi Province have been hit by the disease twice this year.
The government decided Friday to allocate 154.1 billion won (134 million U.S. dollars) in emergency funds to help farms affected by the disease.