Over 8 million animals have been killed so far and more will be killed in South Korea, as part of the culling operations due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD). The government started vaccinating animals only recently, but the use of vaccines has been limited. To slow down the outbreak, the government decided to also cull healthy animals within the danger zones. The Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) has strongly advocated for the government to stop the massacre.
"FMD-Pigs Buried Alive in Korea"
WARNING: graphic content !
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- Minister for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Mr Yoo Jeong-Bok
- HE Mr Choo Kyu Ho
- Han Duk-soo
- Consul General at the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Toronto
His Excellency Mr. Hong Ji-in
- Chief Veterinary Officer and Canada’s OIE representative
Dr. Brian Evans
I am concerned over the appalling treatment of animals in the Republic of Korea, as part of the culling operations due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD). Although I was pleased to learn that the Government initiated a vaccination scheme of cattle, and that pigs will now also be included in this scheme, I was alarmed to learn that pigs and cattle have been buried alive in some regions, as a preventive measure.
Live burial causes severe suffering to animals and is against international guidelines and domestic laws and regulations. It is in clear breach of the OIE Guidelines on the Killing of Animals for Disease Control Purposes (Chapter 7.6, Article 7.6.1., Terrestrial Animal Health Code, 2009). It also constitutes outrageous animal cruelty.
I urge the Government to ensure that live burial, if it is still taking place, is stopped with immediate effect. I also object the killing of healthy animals as a preventive measure. The recent inclusion of pigs to the vaccination scheme mainly applies to brood sows. The Government should stop the cull and concentrate on humane preventive measures. A widespread vaccination is the only humane method to deal with FMD. If emergency killing is deemed to be unavoidable, it should be done so as to prevent any animal suffering, in accordance with the international animal welfare guidelines of the OIE. Muscle relaxants such as succinylcholine cause agonizing pain and should no longer be given to cows. Finally, the Government should distance itself from intensive factory farming, which is the fundamental cause of such animal diseases, and instead focus on environment-friendly farms that are based on considerations of animal welfare.
Thank you for your time on this important matter.
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