Korea finds hogs infected with foot-and-mouth

Seoul | Reuters –– South Korea has detected foot-and-mouth in a southwestern hog farm, the first such discovery in nine months and a blow to authorities pushing to contain the disease.

The case involved a type of the disease that animals are inoculated against in South Korea, with all 670 hogs at the infected farm in the city of Gimje, about 200 km southwest of Seoul, to be slaughtered, said an agriculture ministry official.

Another official at the ministry confirmed the new discovery of foot-and-mouth, without giving details.

South Korea struggled to contain foot-and-mouth after it was discovered in the country in July 2014, intensifying fears about food safety as the nation was also grappling with an outbreak of bird flu. But no new cases had been discovered since April last year.

The outbreak stoked pork imports, mainly from the U.S. and Germany, with shipments rising nearly 30 per cent to around 423,000 tonnes between January and November 2015 from a year earlier, according to customs data.

Reporting for Reuters by Rebecca Jang in Seoul.

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