SEJONG, Aug. 30 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea will expand free range livestock husbandry in raising chickens as a way to improve food safety following the recent pesticide egg scandal that rocked the nation, the agriculture ministry said Wednesday.
At the policy briefing held before President Moon Jae-in in Sejong, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said it will introduce mandatory “pasture-raised” poultry farms from 2018 to improve the hygiene and safety of birds being raised.
It will give financial incentives to livestock farmers who remove confinements and cages and keep their animals outdoors.
The ministry will also introduce a new nationwide system to trace the entire history of egg circulation and sales in 2019 and tighten quarantine procedures on poultry products.
The measures came as the country has been rocked by a food scare after eggs from dozens of poultry farms were contaminated with insecticides, including fipronil and bifenthrin. Such toxic chemicals are banned from being used on chickens in South Korea as they could possibly harm human organs when ingested.
Some of them were found out to be tainted with dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), a poisonous pesticide that was banned nearly 40 years go.
The tainted-egg fiasco broke at a time when the country is already suffering from rising egg prices due to a significant reduction in supply caused by the recent outbreak of avian influenza here and the subsequent massive culling of egg-laying chickens.