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Foot and Mouth Disease in South Korea : Information of the FLI

Last updated April 2010

April 2010: According to the World Reference Laboratory for Foot and Mouth Disease (IAH, Pirbright, UK) the current and continuing outbreaks of foot and mouth disease in South Korea (since the beginning of January 2010) and in Japan (since mid-April 2010) indicate that there is a significant and increasing infection pressure from endemically infected Asian countries. International travel as well as illegal trade with food of animal origin represent a permanent risk for introduction of foot and mouth disease to the European Union and Germany. The 2001 epizootic in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and the Netherlands was also preceded by outbreaks in South Korea and Japan in 2000. As in 2010, the FMD viruses isolated in South Korea and Japan in 2000 belonged to the serotype O and were related with those introduced to Europe.

In 2001, foot and mouth disease was introduced to Europe by infectious food waste fed to pigs. Therefore, all farmers should be made aware again of the importance of hygienic measures in their holdings. Generally, it cannot be excluded that food waste may be contaminated with non-endemic animal pathogens. At the same time, the access of persons who do not belong to the farm should be limited to an inevitable minimum.