(Corrects sixth paragraph to show pork prices, not imports, at
SEOUL, July 24 South Korea has confirmed a case
of foot-and-mouth disease at a hog farm, the country's first
outbreak in more than three years, a provincial government said
The case comes as Asia's fourth-largest economy strives to
contain a six-month long outbreak of bird flu, which has pushed
pork prices to multi-year highs due to demand for an alternative
Testing had confirmed a suspected foot-and-mouth case at a
hog farm in Uiseong county, more than 250 km (155 miles)
southeast of Seoul, the the Gyeonsangbuk-do provincial
government said in a statement.
Further test results by the country's quarantine office will
be unveiled later in the day, it said. The Agriculture Ministry
said late on Wednesday that hogs at the affected farm would be
slaughtered if foot-and-mouth was confirmed.
The outbreak could lead to a rise in pork and beef imports.
Pork prices are at three-year highs following the country's
worst outbreak of foot-and-mouth in 2010-2011 that led to the
culling of a third of its hog population and cost billions of
dollars to contain.
High pork prices have led to forecasts of increased beef
imports as consumers to look for alternative meats, according to
government data and industry sources.
(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Richard Pullin)