South Korea’s worst outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease will cost about two billion dollars, according to ABC Rural reports. The outbreak, the fifth in South Korea since 2000, has hit the nation’s swine herd the hardest.

As a result of the outbreak, South Korea pork imports are expected to climb this year as the nation culls swine to fight the disease.

Pork imports may jump 15 percent to 20 percent from about 179,500 metric tons in 2010, according to Bloomberg. Choi Jong Sun, chairman of the Korea Meat Import Association, said beef purchases may also gain.

 “Pork-import volume will rise inevitably,” Choi, who has been in the industry for about 25 years, said yesterday. “We expect to see bigger replacement demand for pork than for beef because simply too many pigs have been culled,” he said. South Korea is destroying about 2.3 million animals, mostly swine and cattle, or about 17 percent of herds, in its biggest cull.

Reports show the disease has now spread across the country’s borders into North Korea.

Read more.

Source: ABC Rural, Bloomberg