South Korea confirms foot-and-mouth disease at dairy farm

South Korea confirmed a case of foot-and-mouth disease at a dairy farm, the country's first outbreak in less than a year, its agriculture ministry said on Monday (Feb 6).

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said in a statement that the disease had been detected at a dairy farm in Boeun county, about 170km south-east of Seoul. All 195 cows raised in the farm had been culled to contain the disease.

The outbreak comes as Asia's fourth largest economy has been grappling with a nationwide spread of virulent bird flu virus since November last year, leading to cull nearly 33 million farm birds and raising the country's bird flu alert level to the highest for the first time.

This is not the first confirmation of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in South Korea. A case was discovered at a hog farm in South Chungcheong province in March last year, according to the statement.

The agriculture ministry said it has stepped up quarantine measures including a movement ban for farms within a 3 km-radius of where the disease had been found.

The ministry also said the disease was unlikely to be widespread as it was one of the three types that the country inoculates against.

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