Japanese Kobe cows have a beef, and Japanese chickens are broiling: In the first one and a half month’s of this year’s record hot summer 959 milk cows, 235 meat cows, 136,000 egg chickens, and 289,000 meat chickens have died of heatstroke. Pigs aren’t faring so well either, with 657 succumbing to the heat. These numbers are up only slightly from the last survey two years ago for cows and pigs, but more than double for chickens. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, who conducted the survey, is instructing farmers to have adequate heat shield materials and ventilation fans in animal enclosures. The heatstroke figures do not include Miyazaki Prefecture, which suffered a foot-and-mouth disease breakout this year, muddling the ability to determine cause of death.
Korea was internationally recognized as a “controlled risk” country for bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease by the world organization for animal health (OIE). Korea is now in the same level as 33 other countries in the world such as Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced on Thursday Korea and Panama were given “controlled risk” status in the general session of the OIE in Paris on Tuesday.
The Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases at the OIE had made the decision in February based on documents submitted by the Korean government. Some 175 OIE member countries unanimously approved it in the general session. Before, Korea was in the group of “undetermined” countries because the disease control system was not up to the international standards.
Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Saturday vowed to do the utmost to curb the further spread of foot- and-mouth disease that has ravaged livestock in Miyazaki Prefecture, according to local media reports from Japan’s southwestern region.
Kan told local farmers that the government is taking this problem very seriously and will supply resources as well as financial aid to held rehabilitate the region’s battered local livestock trade and make every effort to prevent the further spread of the disease.
“We will take steps to reconstruct their farms in a responsible manner,” local reports quoted the premier as saying.
HCM CITY — Viet Nam should restructure its livestock industry by applying lessons learnt from other countries, an expert has said.
“Global consumption of meat, milk and eggs is increasing, with greatest increase in South and Southeast Asian countries,” Andrew Speedy, representative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, told a conference on livestock industry outlook in HCM City last week.
As Viet Nam’s population would rise from 86 million to 126 million by 2050, demand for pork and poultry was projected to rise from 2.3 million to 3.4 million tonnes and 415,000 to 610,000 tonnes respectively, Speedy said.
To meet the increasing demand, Viet Nam must enhance livestock production by encouraging investment in industrial poultry production, he said.
Korea’s beef imports decreased last year for the first time in five years amid prevailing worries over mad cow disease.
The nation imported 197,857 tons of frozen and chilled meat on a customs-cleared basis in 2009, down 11.7 percent from 224,147 tons a year before, according to the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Korea Meat Trade Association.
Imports plunged in 2004 after Seoul banned all U.S. beef imports in the wake of the first suspected case of bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE) reported in America in late 2003.
Australia stayed Korea’s largest beef importer with 116,714 tons, ahead of the United States and New Zealand. Imports of U.S. beef in 2009 fell 6.2 percent to 49,973 tons.
In contrast, homegrown cattle, or “hanwoo,” accounted for more than 50 percent of the market, the highest share in nine years.
South Korea aims to become one of the world’s 10 biggest exporters of farm produce by 2020.
In a decade-long master plan released Wednesday, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries aims to record $30 billion in exports of domestic products within a decade, more than six-fold from $4.8 billion in 2008, when Korea was placed 41st.
Globalization of the food industry, including the promotion of Korean cuisine, or “hansik,” is one of the five core missions to establish sustainable growth for farming and fishing related businesses.
If the plan is carried out smoothly, the food industry will reach 260 trillion won ($225.1 billion) in sales in 2020, the ministry said. For that purpose, investment will be expanded for research and development to raise food production and processing technology to the level of most advanced countries, according to the plan.
VietNamNet Bridge – Lacking obvious solutions, the northern region may have a poor winter-spring crop, observed Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat at an extended cabinet meeting last week.
Phat said that the Mekong River Delta, the largest rice basket in Vietnam, will have a good harvest, but the Red River Delta is facing difficulties like epidemic diseases, a warm winter and drought.
The Minister said that a disease on rice has spread to 18 northern provinces, from the central province of Quang Nam northward.
Government authorities confirmed Thursday the second outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) on a cattle farm close to where the first outbreak in eight years erupted a week ago. The farm in Pocheon, 45 kilometers north of Seoul, is only about 3.5 kilometers away from where the first outbreak was reported, stirring up concerns that the virus may spread.
FMD is rarely transmitted to humans, but it can be fatal for cloven-hoofed animals, including cows, pigs, goats and sheep.
Local quarantine officials confirmed the latest case after testing 15 Korean native “hanwoo” cows that were culled and buried early Wednesday. They showed signs of FMD symptoms, but only two of them tested positive, according to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.