6 April 2000
Foot-and-mouth hits Korea, Japan

SOUTH KOREA and Japan have confirmed outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, heightening fears of an epidemic across south-east Asia.

The UK Institute of Animal Health is said to have confirmed a case north-west of Seoul. The disease is thought to have spread to 31 farms on the west coast.

South Korean authorities have already slaughtered 400 animals since the disease was first detected at the end of March.

Korean authorities believe the disease may have been brought to Korea by infected straw from China or carried by the wind.

Japan this week confirmed its first cases of foot-and-mouth disease since 1908, on the southern island of Kyushu. Infected cattle have been slaughtered.