SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- South Korea has completed a second round of vaccinations on cattle amid growing optimism that the country's worst outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has finally been contained, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Thursday.
The ministry said the second round of vaccinations on cattle was completed as of 8 a.m. Thursday, and nearly 90 percent of pigs have received vaccines.
The FMD, which has devastated South Korean livestock and damaged the country's food production, now appears to show some signs of mitigating as no new cases of the disease have been confirmed among cows over the past 22 days.
The highly infectious animal disease has been expected to be contained by early March upon the completion of the second round of vaccinations.
The outbreak, which started in November last year, has led to the slaughter of more than 3.39 million animals, with losses estimated at over 2 trillion won (1.8 billion U.S. dollars).
Starting on Dec. 25, the country began vaccinating all 13 million cattle and pigs nationwide after initial quarantine efforts failed to stem the spread of the disease.
The ministry plans to initiate a third round of vaccinations after six months.