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New swine fever cases continue to emerge in South Korea

African swine fever has been confirmed at another pig farm in Incheon followed by two suspected outbreaks in Ganghwa and Yeoncheon, which could bring the total number of confirmed cases in South Korea to eight.

25 September 2019, at 11:09am

Yesterday (24 September), the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced that samples collected from a farm in Incheon, housing 400 pigs, tested positive for African swine fever, just a day after the virus was detected in Gimpo. Later that day, more suspected cases were reported from Ganghwa and in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi-do Province.

young pigs huddled indoors

If it is confirmed that ASF is present in these farms, the total number of cases in South Korea will be brought to eight.

The ministry has announced that it plans to inspect pig farms and facilities in 154 counties and cities and strict biosecurity measures are being put in place. There is currently a 48-hour ban on the movement of pigs and pork products which has been active since 12pm yesterday (24 September).

The culling of infected and potentially infected pigs has already commenced - officials from Gyeonggi-do reported that it will cull around 40,000 pigs in the areas surrounding an affected farm in Paju, which would bring the total animals slaughtered to 50,000.

Investigations by local authorities have concluded that three of the confirmed cases had been traced back to contact with a vehicle that had visited the farm where the first case was confirmed. This has sparked concern across the industry as current vehicle biosecurity measures permit such vehicles to move freely between farms and into unaffected regions.