South Korea's swine and cattle industries, which have been fighting an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that has resulted in the culling of 3.15 million pigs and 150,000 cattle, may lose more than won2 trillion ($1.8 billion), according to the government.
Domestic pork prices in South Korea have skyrocketed, according to Korea Meat Import Association Secretary-General Bo-Hee Lue, combining with fears of safety to lead consumers to imported pork.
“It’s possible some consumers who bought domestic pork will try buying imported pork because of price-competitiveness,” said Lue.
The country's original pig and cattle herds numbered 10 million and 3 million, respectively. On Dec. 25, Seoul ordered the inoculation of all remaining animals to help contain the disease, a move which could cost the country won100 billion ($89 million) annually to maintain.