September 29, 2010

FMD-free South Korea to resume pork exports


South Korea will seek to resume pork exports as the country has been declared free of FMD, the government said Tuesday (Sep 28).

The Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) gave South Korea FMD-free status as of September 27. The OIE decision came less than five months after the last case of FMD was reported in early May.

"The country's regaining of FMD-free status at such an early date was possible as the OIE recognised our thorough quarantine efforts following the outbreak of FMD this year as well as our follow-up steps that were in accordance with international standards to ensure the eradication of the disease," the ministry said.

With its new status, the ministry said it will step up its efforts to resume exports of local pork and beef. A group of ministry officials were dispatched to Japan in advance on September 15-17 to discuss the resumption of pork exports.

Japan was one of the largest export markets for South Korean pork prior to the first outbreak of FMD in January. Tokyo imported 12,515 tonnes of pork products, worth some US$11.6 million, in 2009. Japan resumed importing processed pork products from South Korea in July.

The ministry also said last week that it was seeking to export local beef to the US following its gaining of FMD-free status from the OIE.

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