Dr. Jeongbin Im
Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development
College of Agricultural and Life Science
Seoul National University
The Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (QIA) has announced that it signed the “MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON COOPERATION IN QUARANTINE OF PASSENGERS’ BELONGINGS AND POSTAL ARTICLES FOR PREVENTING THE INTRODUCTION OF INFECTIOUS ANIMAL DISEASES AND PLANT PESTS” with General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China, in Seoul on March 24.
This MOU was prepared as part of the plan for preventing the recurrence of disastrous animal/plant diseases such as HPAI and pine wilt disease, which have broken out and led to huge damages in Korea and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), which has frequently broken out in Korea since the 2000s, and rooting them out. For this, Korea and China agreed to build a human network to expand the exchange of information on animal/plant disease outbreak and share technologies required to detect illegal animals and plants at border quarantine. In particular, to enhance the quarantine detection dog system, which has already proven its efficiency, for both countries, Korea and China will implement specified programs, including exchange of techniques for training and evaluating detection dogs, holding of detection contests and exchange of genes of superior detection dogs.
In China, major animal and plant diseases such as HPAI and FMD break out frequently, and these diseases have a high possibility of being transmitted to Korea, which has a large amount of human and physical exchange with China. In particular, as there were even deaths due to H7N9 HPAI, a new strain of HPAI in China, China is one of the most important countries for Korea in terms of quarantine.
QIA explained that this MOU is very significant because it is the first step for exchange of actual information and technology with China, the most important country in terms of quarantine, especially at this point in time when Korea has an urgent need to end HPAI in the early stages and acquire the status as an FMD-free country. QIA said Korea and China will continue to discover and develop specified projects required to root out disastrous diseases, which is the ultimate goal for both countries, through various measures including the operation of working-level committees.
Date submitted: July 15, 2014
Reviewed, edited and uploaded: July 16, 2014