SEOUL, May 20 (Korea Bizwire) — If the meat that one eats is from an animal that has died a miserable death while screaming for mercy, then one surely cannot fully enjoy the taste, regardless of how good it is.
An online article penned by animal columnist Chae Hee-kyung criticizing the anesthetic-free physical castration that is being carried out on male piglets for the purpose of removing the “smell” of meat has resonated with netizens across the country.
When they are only a week old, male piglets are castrated for the purpose of preventing the meat from smelling, without the use of any anesthesia.
The pig’s testicles are cut and brutally ripped out by human hands, causing the animal to shriek in pain and terror.
Chae wrote in his column that if the livestock were treated by a veterinarian it would cost the farmers a fortune – this is why farmers turn a deaf ear to the horrible screams of the animals.
Small injuries can be handled by the farmers themselves, but Chae and others are pushing for at least the prevention of anesthetic-free physical castration under new legislation.
Animal rights activist Kang Jeong-mi said, “The European Union has banned the surgical castration of pigs after adopting the Brussels Declaration since January of last year.”
“Farmers should reduce the pain of animals through anesthesia with the help of a veterinarian, but it is not easy in South Korea where pigs and chickens are recognized as ‘cheap’ and don’t cost much from the production stage,” she added.
Those in the pork industry tend to agree with the calls for alleviating the pain of piglets being castrated without anesthesia, but most say it would be difficult to make anesthesia mandatory.
An official from the pork industry pointed out that in Europe, where pork is mainly eaten in the form of processed meat such as sausages, farmers can raise pigs without worrying about the smell of meat, but in South Korea, which has a culture of grilling raw meat, consumers’ rejection of the smell is so severe that farmers have to castrate male pigs.
In addition, it is difficult for veterinarians to participate in the castration process of the millions of pigs being raised across the country, an official said.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)