MAFRA is to strengthen quarantine measures to control African swine fever in the spring season
Public Relations Division
The Central Disaster Control Headquarters (Head Hyun-Soo Kim, hereinafter referred to as the ASF Headquarters) for African swine fever (hereinafter referred to as ASF) announced that it would devise and implement “Strengthened measures to control African swine fever in the spring season” as the risks of ASF outbreak in pig farms increase due to growing number of areas where ASF broke out among wild boars and an increase in cultivation activities and in the number of hikers during the spring.

1. The outbreak situation and analysis

The areas affected with ASF go beyond Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces. The outbreak spreads in other regions including Choongju and Boeun in North Choongcheong province (Jan. 28) and Sangju (Feb.8), Uljin (Feb. 10) and Moongyeong (Feb. 22) of the North Gyeongsang province with ASF-affected carcasses continuously found there.

Quarantine should be strengthened in pig farms as the disease is reaching out to regions where big pig farms are located (Southern Gyeonggi province and the South Choongcheong province). Considering that ASF is travelling long distance these days, ASF can break out in non-affected regions anytime, putting the whole country at risk.
* Jeongseon (Sep. 2021) → Yeongwol (Nov. 2021) → Mt.Wolak (Danyang and Jecheon, Nov. 2021) → 27km 38km 52km Mt. Sokri (Boeun and Sangju, Jan. 2022) → Hwanam myeon in Sangju (Mar. 2022) 29km
In spring, the population of boars soar after the gestation period (April to May) and the woods grow thicker, making it harder to search and capture carcasses. At the same time, a rising number of hikers poses an additional threat as they can contact ASF-affected boars.
* One boar goes through around 4 months of the gestation period and gives birth to 5 off springs on average

2. Strengthened measures to control ASF

1. Strengthened Regular Management System of Wild Boars

In April, the ASF Headquarters will come up with the measures to manage and control the spread of African swine fever among wild boars (April to December 2022. The headquarters will regularly monitor the spread of ASF among wild boars throughout the year by designating the whole nation as the management area.

Considering the ASF outbreak situation in wild boars, the nation will be categorized into the three areas: “Critical Control Area”, “Affected Area” and “Preventive Area (Non-affected area)”. The nation as a whole will be subject to the ASF management of wild boars.
* (Critical control area) An area affected by ASF within three months and an area with risk of spreading the disease to neighboring areas: 23 cities and guns (Gapyeong, Yangpyeong, Yeongwol, Taebaek, Samcheock, Wonju, Hongcheon, Hweongseong, Danyang, Jecheon, Boeun, Choongju, Guisan, Yeongdong, Choengju, Sangju, Uljin, Moongyeong, Bonghwa, Yeongju, Gimcheon, Gumi, Yecheon) in Gyeonggi, Gangwon, North Chungcheong and North Gyeongsang provinces.
Thermal drone teams, permanent capture teams (more than 30 people/city or gun) and professional carcass search teams will be up and running in the critical control areas, with the focus on capturing and searching carcasses to prevent any additional spread of ASF.

Permanent capture teams (with more than 10 people/city or gun) will be established in non-affected area (preventive area) where population density should be lowered. The teams will capture the animals and search carcasses at the same time to monitor the spread of the disease.

The Ministry of Environment set capture target by each city and province to reduce the population density of wild boars to 0.7/㎢2 and less in 2022. Regular capturing of wild boars including in non-affected areas will continue from April throughout the year regardless of crop damage reports.
* Scientific ways of capturing the animals with feeding places and drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras will be in place.

ASF monitoring system for wild boars will be strengthened nationwide.

Beginning in April, the comprehensive ASF inspection on wild boars will be conducted for all the captured animals, laying the foundation for early detection of the disease. Also, the inspection on population density of wild boars of each city and gun of the country will be strengthened (more than once a quarter) to systematically manage the population information.
* Before: sample test on 30% of captured animals → After: comprehensive inspection on 100%

Also, to encourage the participation of the private sector, reward for reporting a carcass will be set to 200,000 won regardless of whether the result is positive or negative (previously 200,000 won for positive result and 100,000 won for negative). The notification on rewards for capturing wild boars (The Ministry of Environment) will be revised to increase the reward for capturing the wild boar (200,000 → 300,000 won) if the animal during gestation (March to May) or adulthood (60kg and more) is captured.

In addition, a 2-week joint comprehensive inspection has been conducted by the Ministry of Environment (Local administrations, disease centers, ecology centers, etc.) and local governments during the thawing season since March 28 to maintain the blocking function of the fences already established.
* Immediately repair the fences by identifying any damage such as ground subsidence caused by thaw∙wildfire and continue monitoring of on-site fence inspectors (120 people) following the special monitoring

2. Preventive Biosecurity Measures in Farms

Pig farms (1,256 farms in 54 cities or guns) near ASF-affected farms or their neighboring farms will establish strengthened biosecurity facilities by April. Pig farms in other areas will follow suit as soon as possible.
* 2,012 (37%) farms completed the establishment of 7 types of biosecurity facilities (97% of affected farms, 80% of neighboring farms, and 21% of others)

Establishment guidelines according to different conditions of farms (the guidelines) will be devised and distributed for facilities which are difficult to be established by farms (internal fences or front rooms, etc.) on their own, in order to encourage the prompt establishment of such facilities by farms.

The implementation status of each city or province is monitored to preemptively establish strengthened quarantine facilities in pig farms in preparation for the spread of ASF nationwide.
* Twice a month on 7 provinces except for Gangwon and Jeju provinces (Monitoring of the implementation status by city, gun and farm)

The monitoring will be conducted by categorizing the subject pig farms according to their importance and vulnerabilities.
* A complex with high density of pig farms, quarantine zones of wild boars, consigned∙leased farms, farms raising sows and others
Given that 17 out of 21 ASF outbreaks in pig farms occurred in sows and several cases broke out during the construction work (Hwacheon) of pig farms, quarantine measures taken during the establishment of quarantine facilities, quarantine management of sow farms and whether cultivation activities were carried out (including vegetable gardening) within farms will be intensively monitored.

It will be monitored whether quarantine measures are followed including the ban on construction work of sow farms, comprehensive pre-shipment inspection on sows, intensified disinfection and prohibition of bringing farming equipment into the farms.

In order to prevent the introduction of the virus into farms, a total of 786 disinfection vehicles are mobilized to disinfect areas near farms and connecting roads more than once a day in ASF-affected cities and guns (642), the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range and surrounding cities and guns (185) and complexes with high density (655).

In addition, online training will be conducted for the branch heads of the Korea Pork Producers Association and executives of the Pig Breeding Cooperatives or “Yangdonjohap”. Professional training and media materials will be produced for Pig Breeding Cooperatives or its member farms on ASF and then distributed to pig farms nationwide through Nonghyups.

3. Request from MAFRA

Director General Park Jeong-Hoon of Animal Health Policy Bureau of MAFRA said, “The Central Disaster Management Headquarters, relevant ministries and local governments will actively promote quarantine measures such as the establishment and management of fences, capturing of wild boars, search and removal of carcasses and disinfection of affected areas.”

“As ASF can occur at any time at anywhere, all the pig farms nationwide should preemptively establish strengthened quarantine facilities, discourage farming activities in the spring, prohibit the introduction of farming equipment into farms, conduct daily disinfection of sow farms and follow basic quarantine measures such as changing boots and washing hands when entering the breeding facilities,” the Director-General requested.