S. Korea ramps up disinfection after north’s FMD outbreak

Seoul | Reuters — South Korea has stepped up disinfection of citizens returning from North Korea after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in pigs in the communist state.

Workers in the Kaesong industrial complex jointly run with North Korea, as well as people crossing the border for reunions with family members will be subject to more rigorous disinfection processes than usual, South Korea’s agriculture ministry said Thursday, without giving more detail.

Pyongyang this month reported an outbreak of the highly infectious disease to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

South Korea, which does not import any meat from its neighbour, was forced to cull 10 per cent of its cattle and hogs in 2010-11 after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth that cost billions of dollars to contain.

Foot-and-mouth usually affects cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep, goats, cattle and pigs. It rarely infects humans.

— Reporting for Reuters by Meeyoung Cho in Seoul.

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