South Korean authorities on Tuesday announced that it has begun killing pigs in the country to prevent the spread of its first case of African swine fever. Kim Heyon-soo, the minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs said the outbreak was confirmed at a pig farm in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, a city close to the heavily fortified border with North Korea.
A 48-hour nationwide lock down on the movement of pigs in farms and slaughterhouses was imposed by the South Korean government who raised the animal disease alert to the highest level of “severe.”
Yonhap reported that 4,000 pigs will be slaughtered as a precautionary step after the first case was confirmed. It is also expected that over 6,000 pig farms will also be disinfected across the country in an effort to stop the highly contagious disease spreading.
The virus is not harmful to humans but causes haemorrhagic fever in pigs that is almost always fatal. There is no antidote or vaccine and the only known way to prevent the disease from spreading is a mass cull of affected livestock.