Sub-Theme 4 | Factors Behind Success of Early Advancement of Animal and Plant Quarantine
1. Factors behind Success
(1) Establishment and Continuous Implementation of Systematic Mid/Long-term Plans
The early advancement was made possible by comprehensive quarantine national plans for quarantine reinforcement and government-wide efforts to select and implementation various projects for each phase
(2) Awareness-raising and Foundation of Legal Basis for Harmonization with International Standards
The national consensus for revision of the systems and laws in compliance with the SPS Agreement was a factor which led to success of the enactment/revision of the relevant systems and laws.
(3) Change of Attitudes and Formation of Social Consensus on Quarantine
Major events such as the quarantine works for the Asian Games in 1986 and Seoul Olympic Games in 1988, detection of 0157:H7 from US beef in 1997, detection of dioxin from livestock products from Belgium in 1999 led to surfacing of the safety issues with imported agricultural products, which backed up the need to establish a strong quarantine system to protect the people's health. Other incidents such as BSE in US beef in 2003, and melamine contamination of Chinese powdered milk in 2008 and FMD and HPAI outbreaks, led to formation of the social consensus for the importance of quarantine measures, and resulted in the national support for expanding financial investment in advancing the quarantine infrastructure.
Importance of plant quarantine has been acknowledged widely due to outbreak of pinewood nematode in endangered pine species and other new pests, increased control cost and regulation of prohibition of host movement.
(4) Early Securing of International-level Quarantine Expertise through Reinforced Education & Training
In preparation for expansion of free trade in 1995, South Korea made efforts to secure and train experts in the field of international trade, international cooperation and precision inspection. Short-term and long-term training at advanced research institutes in each field located in the US, France, Canada and the UK continued, which contributed to improving the level of quarantine system in south Korea in a relatively short time.
(5) Expansion of Financial Investment for Improving Work Efficiency Regarding Information, Computerization and Detection Dogs
In terms of information technology, the early opening of quarantine information system (1995) and transition to the advanced computer systems were achieved through the superior internet environment of South Korea and its computerization technologies.
2. Implications for Developing Countries
(1) Establishment and Continued Implementation of Systematic Comprehensive Plans
Since most developed countries are agricultural countries, implementation of quarantine policies should be aimed at expanding export of agricultural/livestock products. Above all, it is imperative to set the direction for the future and establish mid/long-term comprehensive plans for such direction, and derive phase-specific tasks, so as to consolidate the government-wide will to implement the policies.
(2) Adoption of efficient quarantine methods suitable for each country’s reality
It would be desirable to adopt efficient quarantine methods suitable for each country’s circumstances, considering that the level of economic and social infrastructure vary greatly depending on the countries. In South Korea, the early advancement of ICT’s and internet environment enabled construction of the quarantine information system in a short time.
In addition, the level of South Korea’s quarantine detection dogs system has reached the level where the country is capable of transferring its technologies to other countries considering adoption of the system.
(3) Consensus on the Importance of Quarantine
The basic mission of animal and plant quarantine is to secure food safety by preventing introduction of animals and plants disease from overseas. Therefore, the role of animal and plant quarantine should not be confined to importation restrictions to protect the country’s industries: quarantine needs to be re-cognized as public goods with important meaning and roles.