SK president calls for development of Foot-and-Mouth vaccines
South Korean president, President Lee Myung-bak has called for the development of its own vaccines for Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD).
The country has recently experienced an outbreak of the disease which has spread to various provinces. However, despite the call, analysts have stated that it will be a long while before the country will be able to develop vaccine of its own.
“Examining the whole situation, I realise we’re no longer safe from the disease. As the world is connected like a net, dangerous elements like the FMD virus can spread globally very quickly. Traditional quarantine efforts have limits and vaccination is the best solution, given the circumstances,” President Lee said.
The current epidemic is still a problem in the country and the development of vaccines will not fix the problem now, as it takes more than a year to produce a reliable and accredited vaccine.
“We’ll maintain the current quarantine efforts to tackle the epidemic, and the development of a vaccine will be a precautionary measure for a possible outbreak in the future. It will be a long-term project that requires a lot of financial investment and manpower,” said an official from the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS).
Vaccines in South Korea
Previously South Korea did not make use of vaccines due to the high cost and concerns of the country not being able to quickly regain FMD-free status – relaying a negative impact on both exports and imports.
Last December the government decided to vaccinate all cows and pigs as the conventional quarantine operations of the mass slaughtering of animals proved to be ineffective.
During the recent FMD outbreaks, over 2 million animals having been culled despite nationwide quarantine efforts.