S.Korea confirms second foot-and-mouth outbreak

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South Korea confirmed a second outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease on Thursday and said hundreds of cattle and pigs would be culled to stop the highly contagious disease spreading.

The agriculture ministry said two out of 15 cows tested positive for the disease at a farm at Pocheon, 30 kilometres (18 miles) northeast of Seoul, where the first outbreak was reported a week ago.

The ministry said a total of 1,790 cattle or pigs and two deer would be slaughtered as a precaution. It said it was investigating whether a veterinarian who checked cattle in the area may have spread the disease.

A January 7 outbreak led to the culling of 264 cattle and 45 goats. Before that the disease was reported in South Korea in 2000 and 2002.

The slaughter after the previous outbreaks cost about 450 billion won (400 million dollars).