Foot-and-mouth in South Korea closes livestock markets

SEOUL, Dec 2 (BestGrowthStock) – South Korea has closed all of its livestock markets after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the southeast of the country, authorities reported on Thursday, triggering a fall in beef and pork prices.

Yonhap news agency reported that more than 50,000 livestock from 144 farms would be culled in an effort to contain the outbreak. South Korea is a net importer of beef and pork.

Foot-and-mouth affects livestock including sheep, cows and pigs, but the disease and meat from infected animals are not harmful to humans.

The outbreak originated in the southeastern city of Andong in North Gyeongsang province affecting pigs, and subsequent tests showed cattle in the area were also infected, the agriculture ministry said.

All 84 of the country’s livestock markets have been closed, the ministry said, and the government has vowed to provide 14.6 billion won ($12.71 million) in aid to assist affected farmers.

In Anseong, a city in Gyeonggi province 80 km south of Seoul, the cost of a calf around 5 months old has fallen 40 percent from last June to about 2 million won, Yonhap said.

The price of local beef and pork at markets has fallen as a result of the outbreak.

(Reporting by Danbee Moon; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

Foot-and-mouth in South Korea closes livestock markets