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S. Korea starts vaccinating cattle against FMD

South Korea begun inoculating cattle in five cities against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) as part of its efforts to curb further spread of the animal disease, government officials said Saturday.

   The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced Wednesday its program to vaccinate cattle against the contagion after the ministry failed to prevent it from spreading across the country.

   After the first case of the FMD was confirmed on Nov. 29 in North Gyeongsang Province, the disease spread to the provinces of Gyeonggi and Gangwon as well as Incheon, a city 80 kilometers west of Seoul.

   As of Saturday, a total of 56 cases were reported, leading a mass cull of 330,000 animals.

   Despite a cold wave hitting the country for a second day, the vaccination was conducted smoothly in five cities--Andong and Yecheon, the cities of North Gyeongsang Province and Paju, Goyang, Yeoncheon, the cities of Gyeonggi Provinces, the ministry said.

   About 133,000 cattle were vaccinated, the ministry said, adding that it plans to wrap up the vaccination within three or four days at the earliest.

   FMD is highly contagious and affects all cloven-hoofed animals, such as cattle, pigs, deer, goats and buffalo, though it is harmless to humans.

(Yonhap News)

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