In less than three weeks, due to an ongoing outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, South Korea has buried over 1.8 million pigs and 146,000 cattle, as well as thousands of goats and deer. The total number of animals killed during this outbreak is now at approximately 2.9 million, with an estimated 90% of them buried alive.
At the same time, avian bird flu outbreaks have been occurring in South Korea. Over 5.4 million chickens and ducks have been killed, many also buried alive.
Korea Animal Rights Advocates says that approximately 100,000 animals have been buried alive each day, and estimates that of the 8.3 million animals culled since November 29, 2010, 97% have been buried alive. The government has even begun to offer up national forests as burial sites as local authorities are running out of burial space.
The South Korean government could only afford to euthanize cattle for the first month of the outbreak and then ran out of supplies. Vaccination efforts have also been minimal, with less than 60% of cattle receiving the vaccine and only 7.6% of pigs.
Please use your voice to help end this tragedy. Send a polite message to Han Duk-soo, the ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States, and tell him that you want the South Korean government to immediately stop burying animals alive and to start using humane methods of controlling foot-and-mouth disease, as well as avian bird flu outbreaks. Click here for a list of other officials to contact, as well as a sample letter.
This crisis is yet another reminder of the cruelty animals endure at the hands of factory farms, where they are viewed and treated as mere commodities, rather than thinking, feeling creatures fully capable of feeling pain and suffering. Click here to learn more about how you can withdraw your support from this cruel system by adopting a vegan diet.
For more information on the outbreaks, visit KARA.