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Published on Sep 6, 2011
This is a report from Paula Hancocks, the CNN correspondent in Seoul. The footage here shows the operation of the burying of 1,900 pigs alive at a site in Gyeonggi Province during a foot and mouth cull.
Burying animals alive was the general practice all over Korea from November 29 to the around the beginning of March, 2011.
The follow are some things that are not brought out in the video:
It is Korean government policy and has been policy for over a decade at least to bury animals alive during culls. There were no shortages or errors. Everyone went ahead and buried animals alive, as has been done in the past.
Korean officials tried to play it down and evade this issue to international audiences, even though local Korean and English newspapers in Korea were reporting on live burials. You can see this in the interview with Yoo Jeong-Bok, the Minister for Agriculture at the time. Either Yoo practically lies to the camera for the international audience or he was totally clueless about what was going. Maybe it was both.
Yoo mentions that the euthenasia drug sometimes didn't work effectively. There's a good reason for this: succinyl choline, the drug used, is not supposed to be used for euthenasia. Its use, in fact, constitutes horrific animal abuse and torture. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Humane Society of the United States both condemn the use of this drug for euthanasia.
Succinyl choline paralyses the animal while leaving it fully conscious. Of course, it does not die straight away. Its breathing and throat muscles are paralyzed, so it slowly suffocates while choking on saliva because it can't swallow--all while conscious. It is a horrific death.
Yoo also refers to the use of a euthenasia drug on pigs. This rarely happened. It was mainly used on cattle. Most pigs were buried alive, over 3 million of them.
There is no excuse for this level of cruelty, especially not from a modern and wealthy country like Korea, a country that can easily afford humane culling. Burying millions of animals alive is a national disgrace, created by a truly incompetent government.