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Netherlands supplies FMD vaccines to Korea

The Netherlands are providing 1 million doses of foot-and-mouth vaccine to help Korea fight its worst outbreak, its embassy said Friday.

At the request of the Korean government, the European country has sent 500,000 vaccines. The remainder is due to arrive on Feb. 3.

“The Netherlands expects it will contribute positively to the welfare of the animals and to disease control,” it said in an e-mailed statement.

The Netherlands has kept a stock of vaccines since it suffered from a FMD epidemic in 2001, half of which was shared with Korea.

The latest outbreak is the most severe in Korean history, resulting in nearly 3 million cattle and pigs being culled since Nov. 28.

Starting on Dec. 25, the government started inoculating 13 million livestock, while asking other countries to supply emergency vaccines.

In response, the North American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank, administered by commissioners from the U.S., Canada and Mexico, promised to provide 2.5 million doses of FMD vaccine. Belgium has also reportedly donated 800,000 doses.

President Lee Myung-bak said last week his administration is considering local development of the vaccine. Currently the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are the only nations that produce internationally approved vaccines, he noted.

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)
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