The first was discovered in North Chungcheong Province, in the centre of the country, on 12 December, and the second in South Chungcheong Province, on 16 December. In total 457 cases were found, with all infected animals being "destroyed".
Reuters reported that the government is intensifying efforts to contain the disease by vaccinating all pigs in affected areas. OIE said other measures employed in South Korea are control of wildlife reservoirs, quarantine, movement control, screening and zoning. Seoul has stepped up its foot-and-mouth warning level from ‘caution’ to ‘alert’.
The Korea Herald said 13 cases have now been confirmed since the first December outbreak at the beginning of the month, with a total of 14,491 animals slaughtered.
An outbreak was also discovered back in July, for the first time in over three years. The country had already been dealing with bird flu problems, which pushed up pork prices as alternative meats to poultry were sought.
Reuters reported: "Livestock disease problems are a big factor behind a jump in pork imports, mainly from the United States and Germany. These rose 21% to 328,241 tonnes in the first 11 months of this year from the same period last year."