Compassion in World Farming is extremely concerned by a report of appalling treatment of pigs in the Republic of Korea as part of the culling operations due to foot and mouth disease (FMD).
According to the Korean Times, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reports that one and a half million pigs have been culled. Most worryingly of all, the paper goes on to quote eye-witness reports that many of these animals have been buried alive. Live burial causes severe suffering to animals and is contrary to any internationally accepted standard of treatment.
We are very sorry for any distress caused by this image. The true horror of what is happening right now in South Korea is revealed - the animals in the truck are clearly still alive.
The Republic of Korea is a member of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and live burial of animals is in clear breach of OIE Guidelines on the Killing of Animals for Disease Control Purposes.
The cull is the Government of Korea's attempt to control an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease which began in November 2010. According to a report from the Korean Government another million animals could still be killed.
Compassion believes that vaccination rather than killing is the preferred way to deal with Foot and Mouth Disease, and while it has been reported that vaccine has been ordered for some of the Republic of Korea's pigs, this will come too late for hundreds of thousands of animals.
Compassion's Chief Executive, Philip Lymbery, and other animal welfare organisations have written to the Korean Embassy in London asking for an immediate end to any to live burials that may be taking place.
If emergency killing is genuinely needed for disease control purposes, Compassion believes the authorities must ensure that it is done in strict accordance with the international animal welfare guidelines of the OIE.
Compassion's Call to Action
It is crucial that we get a clear message to the Korean Government before it is too late. Please send a letter to the Korean Ambassador in London to demand the cull is carried out in accordance with the guidelines of the OIE.