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Foot-and-mouth disease in Korea worrying

Farmers whose animals have been culled need state help, they say

Pigs being buried  to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth disease Pigs being buried to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth disease
  • Stephen Hong, Seoul
  • Korea
  • January 17, 2011
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Seven religious leaders in Gangwon province, South Korea, have asked the government to assist farmers whose animals have been slaughtered because of the foot-and-mouth disease.

The Gangwon Conference on Religion and Peace (GCRP) on Jan. 14 issued a message after a meeting at the Catholic Chunchon diocesan office in Chuncheon asking the Korea government to support affected farmers and transform existing livestock facilities into eco-friendly ones.

The disease that first contaminated a pig farm in Andong on Nov. 29 has spread across more than 50 cities and counties.

Around 1.7 million cows, pigs, goats and deer have been culled, according to the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The ministry reported that the disease affects all animals with cloven hooves, including sheep and deer. All animals within a 500-meter radius of an affected farm will be subjected to mass culling as a precautionary measure.

Venerable Wonheang, secretary general of the GCRP, told ucanews.com today that the country’s outbreak of the disease was the result of human greed, destruction of environment and bad eating habits.

For that matter, the leaders in their message promised that the religious group would be the first to try to overcome man’s selfishness and materialism, while praying for the eradication of the disease.

Venerable Toiwoo, head monk of Woljeongsa temple, and Bishop Lucas Kim Woon-hoe of Chunchon are among the seven religious leaders within the GCRP.

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