Lumpy Skin Disease Impacts Major U.S. Trade Partner

Will Jordan General

by Will Jordan

Cow affected by Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), South Korean Flag

A Lumpy Skin Disease outbreak is spreading across South Korea with 29 cases of the highly infectious viral disease reported as of Wednesday, October 25th.

Though Lumpy Skin Disease was introduced to Asia in 2019, this is the first outbreak of its kind in South Korea. While the disease does not pose a risk to humans, it does cause severe skin blisters, fever, and reduced milk production in affected cattle.

Officials in South Korea are alarmed but have announced plans to vaccinate all cattle by the beginning of November. Agriculture Ministry officials are working to secure 4 million doses of the Lumpy Skin Disease vaccine after exhausting the nation’s 540,000-dose vaccine stockpile to complete the country-wide vaccination program.

Along with vaccinations, South Korean officials have imposed temporary bans on cattle transportation and culled all cattle at infected facilities.

For cattle producers in the United States, tracking this disease is important as a domestic outbreak could prove fatal to our nation’s beef and dairy industries.

South Korea is also one of the largest importers of US Beef, contributing over $2 billion annually, beckoning to the importance of this agricultural and economic relationship.