South Korea Battles Foot-and-Mouth Disease Outbreak

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South Korea’s President is promising to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease in his country. Authorities have so far destroyed around 130 thousand cattle and about 2 million pigs to contain the outbreak.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak pledged Monday to cope with the spread of foot-and-mouth disease in South Korea.

So far more than 2.5 million pigs and cattle have been culled to contain the outbreak.

The agriculture ministry of Asia's fourth biggest economy says the infected animals would be buried.

[Lee Myung-Bak, South Korean President]:
“This is the first time our country had to cull more than 130,000 cattle and 2 million pigs.”

The South Korean government is also using vaccines brought from two companies in England and Holland.

[Lee Myung-Bak, South Korean President]:
“Currently, England and Holland are producing internationally-certified vaccines, but I will seriously consider producing vaccines ourselves.”

President Lee says the country might face large-scale damage from the disease.

The outbreak is expected to subside before the Lunar New Year holiday at the beginning of February, as most animals would have received their vaccinations by then.

Major livestock markets across South Korea have been closed now for more than a month.