S. Korea approves reopening of livestock markets thanks to no extra reported cases of lumpy skin disease

By Park Sae-jin Posted : December 1, 2023, 11:22 Updated : December 1, 2023, 11:22
Courtesy of Shinan County
[Courtesy of Shinan County]

SEOUL -- The South Korean government has approved livestock market operators to reopen their markets and resume the trade of cattle after about one month since the country's livestock disease control tower temporarily stopped all cattle trades and closed livestock markets to prevent the spread of lumpy skin disease. Animal disease specialists predict that the cold weather slowed down the movement of bloodsucking carrier insects.

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral infection that spreads through blood-feeding insects like flies, mosquitoes, and ticks. A cow infected with the virus usually shows symptoms of high fever, skin nodules, enlarged superficial lymph nodes, and lumps measuring up to five centimeters (about two inches) on the skin. The mortality rate is less than 10 percent and the disease does not transmit to humans.

The disease normally takes place in the summer and early autumn when the temperature is high and the air is humid. While many cattle attain long-lasting immunity after recovering from LSD, some farmers vaccinate their cattle to prevent the animals from catching the disease. The first-ever case of LSD was found in the southwestern part of South Korea on October 20.

The state-operated animal disease control tower said that starting December 1, livestock markets will become operational nationwide. The transport of cattle will be limited within the same county until December 7 and the regulation will be completely lifted afterwards. However, the disease control tower said that the trade and transport of livestock in an LSD-affected area will be limited.

Cattle farmers are also allowed to gather and meet each other in events such as farmers' regular gatherings. They are to assemble at a designated quarantine center before the meeting and disinfect their shoes, clothing, and hands before entering the meeting venue.

The last case of LSD was reported on November 21 and a total of 107 cases were reported as of December 1.
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