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Animals Asia urges humane slaughter of pigs in Korea
Animals Asia has received information from Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) about the live burial of thousands of pigs in an attempt to control the spread of a foot and mouth disease outbreak in the Republic of Korea.
During outbreaks of diseases in farm animal, governments are under immense pressure to act quickly, to reduce the number of animals infected, the number of total farms infected and to protect public confidence and the domestic and international trade in meat. Plans are now in place for the slaughter of thousands of additional pigs through live burial in an attempt to halt the spread of this disease. Live burial causes severe welfare issues for animals prior to death.
Animals Asia recommends the government carry out a mass vaccination programme instead of a large scale cull. If more animals are to be killed we appeal to the Korean government to adopt humane, efficient culling methods to minimise the pain and distress to animals. The culling should be safe for both people and the environment and should be performed by trained and competent personnel. We appeal to the government to follow the World Organisation for Animals Health (OIE) international standards on humane killing of animals for disease control purposes.
We also respectfully request that the government adopt a comprehensive bio security plan, securing infected locations, separating infected /susceptible animals, restricting the movement of animals, limiting human access to animals and places holding animals, providing strict guidelines on the disinfection of clothing to be worn by people accessing animals, the disinfection of vehicles, and the provision of footbaths to minimise the risks of disease transmission.
Animals Asia has written to the Korean President, Chief Veterinary Officer, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister and Korean embassies globally, calling for the adoption of these measures as a matter of urgency. Please see a copy of our letter below.
What you can do
Please do all you can to encourage the Korean government to adopt a mass vaccination programme and if animals are to be killed to adopt the OIE international standards on humane killing of animals for disease control purposes.
Please write a polite letter to your Korean Ambassador and send it to the main embassy address in your country. Embassy addresses can be found
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Newsletter relevant to:
The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Gwacheon Government Complex
The Republic of Korea
Dear Minister Yoo,
Slaughter of pigs to control Foot & Mouth disease outbreak
I am writing on behalf of Animals Asia, a Hong Kong-headquartered non-government organisation dedicated to improving the lives and welfare of animals across Asia.
We are deeply concerned to hear of the live burial of pigs in response to the current outbreak of foot & mouth disease and reports suggesting thousands more animals will be buried alive.
Live burial causes severe suffering to animals and is contrary to internationally accepted standards of animal treatment and in clear breach of the OIE Guidelines on the Killing of Animals for Disease Control Purposes.
We respectfully request the adoption of a mass vaccination campaign against foot & mouth disease. If animals are too be killed we request the adoption of humane culling methods to minimise the pain and distress to animals, in accordance with the World Organisation for Animal Health standards on humane killing of animals for disease-control purposes. Such measures must reduce unnecessary animal suffering as well as be safe for both people and the environment. Culling should be performed by trained and competent personnel.
The central message of these guidelines is as follows: “When animals are killed for disease control purposes, methods used should result in immediate death or immediate loss of consciousness lasting until death; when loss of consciousness is not immediate, induction of unconsciousness should be non-aversive or the least aversive possible and should not cause avoidable anxiety, pain, distress or suffering in animals.” Chapter 7.6. Killing of animals for disease control purposes. Terrestrial Animal Health Code, 2009.
The Guidelines give clear information on more humane methods for emergency killing for disease control and are freely available at
KILLING OF ANIMALS FOR DISEASE CONTROL PURPOSES
We also respectfully request the adoption of a comprehensive bio security plan, to secure infected locations, separate infected/susceptible animals from healthy animals, restrict the movement of animals, limit human access to animals and places holding animals, provide strict guidelines on the disinfection of clothing to be worn by people accessing animals, the disinfection of vehicles, and the provision of footbaths to minimise the risks of disease transmission.
At a time when action is likely to be required urgently to safeguard the Korean agriculture industry, we ask that the welfare of the animals remains a very high priority during the eradication of the disease.
Animal Welfare Director
Animals Asia Foundation
Tel: +44 (0)1579 347148
Fax: +44 (0)1579 347343
His Excellency President Lee Myung-Bak
Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Kiyoon Chang
Korean Embassies across the world
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