Asian nations are struggling in their confrontation with the worst case of foot-and-mouth disease in more than five decades, Bloomberg reports.
The scourge has torn through the livestock industry in South Korea and is poised to spread internationally as the Lunar New Year typically signals increased travel, Bloomberg reports.
Juan Lubroth, the United Nations' top veterinary officer in the food and agriculture organization, said the extent of the disease is "unlike anything that we've seen for at least half a century." His statement, released from Rome, noted Asia is a "cause of concern." Next week's holiday will see "large numbers of people … on the move in the region, many of them carrying meat products and some transporting animals."
The government of China estimated its nationals will complete 2.85 billion journeys beginning January 19, when the holiday's 40-day period kicked off.
South Korea destroyed one-fifth of the herd to prevent spreading of the disease that afflicts livestock and is extraordinarily contagious. The food and agriculture organization estimated that livestock slaughter cost as much as $1.6 billion.
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