Pigs are still being buried alive in South Korea, despite reassurance from the Government that such live burials would be stopped. Since November 29, 2010, over 8 million animals have been killed, more than 90% of them buried alive, in one of the worst outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and bird flu. Over 5,000 Change.org members signed the original petition. As a result of massive protests from private citizens, local and international organizations, the Government pledged that all animals would be 'humanely' killed in line with international guidelines. Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) have reported that 900 pigs were recently buried alive on February 21, in Icheon, Kyungi Province. According to KARA, this is proof that the government's default strategy is still to bury animals alive.
The Seoul-based group Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) recently released a highly graphic video of an actual live burial. Pigs can be seen being dumped into a deep pit; as the mass grave fills up, those at the bottom are crushed. Soil is then shoveled on top of the screaming pigs who are subsequently suffocated to death. Quite frequently, air pockets allow some of the animals to survive for several hours, even days, before succumbing to death - according to witnesses on site, their screams can be heard long after the burial.
Photo credit: Coexistence for Animal Rights on Earth
Appalling factory farming conditions have enabled the disease to spread so easily. Animals are slowly suffocated to death in the pits, or crushed beneath the pile of animals who are dumped on top of them. Furthermore, improper burial often allows for air pockets to form, resulting in animals who are left to die from trauma, starvation or dehydration in the dark pits. These burials have already had major health and environmental implications, as the temperature rise has caused the corpses to decay, and contaminants to seep into the water table. Water supplies have already been contaminated in some areas.
Burying animals alive is inhumane - this brutal treatment is a national disgrace. There is no excuse for this level of cruelty, especially not from a modern country like Korea that can easily afford humane culling. The Government must immediately halt all live burials and implement less cruel methods of dealing with the outbreak of FMD and bird flu.
Please stop burying animals alive !