I still remember the pig that was being taken away from my grandmother’s house when it was sold to a butcher. This was when I was a very small child probably before schooling age. It was a big pig, at least in the eyes of a small child. Several adults had to wrestle with the pig, pulling the rope that was securely tied around its neck and legs, in order to tow him towards the vehicle that was to carry him to the slaughterhouse. Somehow, the pig knew about its destiny, I think, as it was resisting the men with all his might, crying out as loud as it could. It was a shocking, horrible scene.

In South Korea, as of now, horrible acts of killing pig and cattle stock are being carried out on a daily basis. The Lee administration in South Korea is showing total incompetence in containing the ‘foot-and-mouth’ disease, which broke out in November 2010. The Lee administration failed to take any significant actions in its early days of outbreak. Now it’s killing animals en masse. One of the most recent reports here: http://goo.gl/jLULR. It is reported that more than 2 million pigs and cows have been killed since its outbreak, many of them being buried alive. Yes, alive!

One TV programme known for its progressive journalism covered this story, and some of the screen shots can be found on this link: http://twitpic.com/3uga4d. The sub-titles are all in Korean, I am afraid, but the images tell the story. It talks about deep sympathy towards culled animals, how brutal the killing has been, how much those people involved in killing suffers mentally and physically, and the threat of infection from the killing site.

Now the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has announced on 27 January 2011 that “coordinated, multinational response” is necessary in order to contain the disease spread. The organisation’s Chief Veterinary Office, Juan Lubroth, has said “The current FMD dynamics in eastern Asia, as well as the magnitude of the outbreak in South Korea, are unlike anything that we’ve seen for at least a half century”. More details of this announcement can be found on this link: http://goo.gl/sHfbb.

The size of culled pig and cattle stock is expected to rise to 3 million by the lunar calendar new year (3rd February this year). And yet, the government has ‘asked’ the media not to send out images of culled animal in fear of rising discontent. One of the top government officials has even tried to blame the disease spread on farmers, accusing them of not fully cooperating.

My sincere condolences to these brutally culled animals, farmers who lost their beloved livestock, and anyone else who’s directly exposed to this killing and who may suffer long-term trauma from this cruel act they were forced to commit.