South Korea has now joined eight other Asian countries in becoming positive for African swine fever (ASF). This comes after pigs were found positive for ASF near the nation’s border with North Korea, which has been positive for the virus since May.
Kim Hyun-soo, South Korea’s agricultural minister, said the country’s first case of the highly contagious disease was confirmed on Sept. 17 based on tests conducted on five pigs that died earlier this week on a farm in the city of Paju (see red dot on map). Another case is suspected in the nearby town of Yeoncheon.
The government has strengthened efforts to disinfect farms and transport vehicles and ordered a 48-hour standstill on all pig farms, slaughterhouses and feed mills across the country to prevent the spread of the disease. South Korea and has ordered about 6,000 farms that produce more than 11 million pigs.
South Korea does not import any pork products or live pigs from China due to that country’s animal disease status. It mainly imports from the United States and Germany, and pork imports account for about a third of the country’s total pork supplies.