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S. Korea to step up quarantine efforts against animal diseases

The agriculture ministry said Tuesday it will run a five-month special disinfection period to implement stronger antivirus measures against animal diseases in the winter.

During the campaign, running from October to February, the government will strengthen the monitoring of wild animals and local farms and carry out stronger disinfection and quarantine measures against the highly pathogenic avian influenza, African Swine Fever, and other diseases among animals, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The number of bird flu cases confirmed among migratory birds rose 14.7 percent on-year to 3,364 cases during the first eight months of the year, the ministry said.

As more birds are to arrive in the coming months, the government will beef up tests of the AI virus at major habitats across the country, and designate 24 high-risk regions and some 700 farms to be subject to stronger disinfection work.

It will mobilize private institutions to extend in-depth, swift inspections to confirm the outbreak of avian influenza in the early stages.

The focus will also be on how to prevent the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

In May, the country confirmed the first FMD case in more than four years and reported at least 10 additional cases at local farms in the following weeks.

The government will extend the vaccination campaign and antibody tests while strengthening quarantine measures in local farms and related facilities.

In response to the ongoing ASF spread, the ministry vowed to continue intensified operations of hunting down wild boars and searching for affected animals, while installing more fences to stop their migration. (Yonhap)

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