Cross-border transmissions of African swine fever is becoming a significant issue across Asia.
Just last week, we warned about China exporting the hog-killing disease to Russia. Now it appears North Korea, a country that borders China, has already exported the virus to South Korea.
South Korean authorities have been scrambling to contain the outbreak since mid-September.
A new report from Reuters, indicates 380,000 pigs have been slaughtered since the end of September, in the northern region bordering North Korea.
"#Gimpo City and the Island of #Ganghwa #Incheon #SouthKorea are without a pig, not even a single pig. All are buried alive. Total almost 200K in the island (next to Gimpo) and Gimpo&Paju City. The price of pork stays the same"— SaveKoreanDogs (@NamiKim_DogsSK) October 17, 2019
Already, the government has led a significant effort to slaughter nearly 3% of the country's pig herd to prevent further spread. The first swine-fever case emerged in mid-September.
Woo Hee-jong, a veterinary professor at Seoul National University, said government authorities aggressively killed pigs in the northern region to prevent the spread to large pig farms in the southern part of the country.
As of October 10, swine fever cases were zero, and the attempt to prevent a further outbreak might have worked but has come at the cost of 380,000 pigs.
So far, there are no reports of wild boar infected with the disease, but if that were the case, then the spread across the country would become unstoppable.
The epicenter of the hog-killing disease started in China, where authorities have killed at least 50% of its pig herd this year.
The cross-border spread of African swine fever from China to Russia; China to North Korea; and now North Korea to South Korea suggests the virus is becoming uncontrollable for governments.
The spread of the virus across China has already led to skyrocketing food prices for pork, and rapid food inflation is likely to be seen in neighboring countries.
Meanwhile, the US is sitting on record cold storage of pork bellies, something that China, Russia, North/South Korea might be interested in...