SEOUL, Aug. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — The South Korean agriculture minister has announced plans to shake up the farming industry and move towards more animal-friendly practices including imposing EU standards for livestock density, following an egg contamination scandal that turned the country upside down.
At a policy meeting held on Wednesday at the Sejong Government Complex Management Office, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs revealed plans to reshape the landscape of the country’s farming industry, while ramping up efforts to secure agriculture safety, measures which will see new EU-inspired livestock density regulations put in place.
The new regulations mean farms in South Korea will be required to maintain a maximum animal density of one animal per 0.075 square meters of land, beginning in 2025.
Other efforts by agriculture authorities will see more financial support provided to farmers in the form of incentives to encourage existing farms to accommodate livestock in a more animal-friendly environment.
At the same time, the agriculture minister will introduce a new policy that requires egg products to be labeled with the quality of the living environment for chickens from 2019, following a similar policy that is already in place for pork and beef products.
In preparation for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, preventative measures against avian influenza will come into effect in October, with a new reporting system established for a more rapid response to limit damages in the case of bird flu outbreaks.
As well as measures to improve animal welfare and agriculture safety, initiatives to create jobs in the animal care and agriculture industries were also revealed.
To attract more young people to farming, financial support of up to one million won per month will be provided for those interested in farming education as part of a venture capital support package, with the Korea National College of Agriculture and Fisheries expected to take in more students from next year.
In an effort to revitalize the companion animal care industry, a new industry law is expected to pass next year.
“As we switch to a more animal-friendly environment, the issue of increasing prices and a bigger burden on consumers has emerged as a challenge. Some suggest it is imperative that enough supply is secured and that we make changes gradually so as to avoid sudden price increases,” said Kim Kyung-gyu, the Assistant Minister for planning and coordination at the agriculture ministry after the meeting.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)