Korean Government Buries Animals Alive in Culls PDF Print E-mail

In 2006, the animal rights groups CARE and KAAP put together a Culling Investigation Team to monitor and research the culls each year of animals with infectious diseases, such as bird flu and hoof-and mouth disease.

After several years of research, they have seen that in every culling operation animals are treated inhumanely and buried alive. This is illegal and in contravention of government laws, and yet it is carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

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It is difficult to see because shot in the dark. The camera here is pointed into a deep hole that is lined with plastic and contains distraught and confused pigs.

Pigs of all ages and sizes are in the hole and have either escaped from being buried alive or have been left there during the culling operation to be buried alive later. Clearly from the noise they are in great distress.

The video was recorded after one the team infiltrated a culling site in Gimpo, where the animals were thought to have hoof-and-mouth disease.

Video from initial efforts was confiscated when the person filming was caught. There was a struggle involved. Later more video was shot with some difficulty and they managed to escape with it.

With the footage and data gathered, CARE and KAAP will present their findings at a National Assembly seminar and press conference. They will show the proof of inhumane treatment and point out the root causes of the spread and re-spreading of diseases. Demands for improvements will be made.

Case Study of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Outbreaks and Culling in 2010

  • 2010-01-07: final diagnosis of cow hoof-and-mouth disease in Chudong-ri, Changsu-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do.
  • 2010-01-13 ~ 01-30: final diagnosis of cow hoof-and-mouth disease in additional 5 farms; Cheongsan-myeon, Yeoncheon-gun, Changsu-myeon, Illdong-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do. Culling of 5,956 cattle and pigs.
  • 2010-04-09: final diagnosis of cattle hoof-and-mouth disease in Geumwul-ri, Seonwon-myeon, Kangwha-gun.
  • 2010-04-10: final diagnosis of hoof-and-mouth disease at the 4 farms Bureu-myeon and Seonwon-myeon, Kangwha- gun.
  • 2010-04-18: Culling of 29,677 cattle and pigs in Kangwha-gun.
  • 2010-04-20: final diagnosis of cow hoof-and-mouth disease in Goyang-ri, Wolgok-myeon, Gimpo-si. Culling of 194 cows in Gimpo-si.
  • 2010-04-20 ~ 04-25: final diagnosis of cow hoof-and-mouth disease in Yongwon-ri, Sinni-myeon, Chungju-si. Culling of 12,620 cattle and pigs.


(Culling operation using heavy machinery.)

Result of Survey of Foot-and Mouth Culling Operations


  • Over 4 months starting from 2010-01-04


  • Pochen-si in Gyeonggi-do, Kanghwa-gun in Incheon and Chungju-si in Chungcheongbuk-do, etc. Foot-and mouth disease origin areas.


  • The animal culling area in Pochen-si, Gyeonggi-do found that because cattle were in small numbers and because they are too large to handle, the cattle were caught one by one.  They were injected with muscle relaxants and then were killed. The cattle were put in a trolley and then buried.
  • April in Kanghwa-do in Incheon. Many pigs were too hard to catch, so machines with scoops were used to herd the pigs into a hole and the pigs were then buried alive. According to law, the pigs should have been killed by electrocution or gassing before burial. This is direct evidence that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and local government authorities are practicing illegal culling operations.
  • April in Chungju-si in Chungcheongbuk-do. The same thing was happening here. The government could not find out why foot-and-mouth was spreading. So the warning level was at its highest--red. Clearly disease prevention efforts did not go well because the disease had spread from Kanghwa to Chungju, a few hundred kilometers away. Culling took place within a 3 square kilometer area but it was not the solution, just an official requirement. Indeed, people who spray for disease prevention did not go there. No boundaries were erected.

What these investigations show is illegal activities by a government ministry and local government authorities. Instead of spending the money and time to ensure the law is followed and humane treatment is practiced, they take the cheap and easy way out of burying animals alive. Truly, it is a disgrace.

The sad fact is that this has been going on as standard practice for decades.


(Photo by Reuters)

A pig cull in 2002 where piglets were kicked into a hole then buried alive. Is this the best humanity can do?