Animal welfare must be considered as part of livestock industry sustainability: expert










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Animal welfare must be considered as part of livestock industry sustainability: expert


Kim Yoo-yong, a professor in the Department of Food and Animal Biotechnology at Seoul National University and president of the Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Companies (AAAP)/Joint Press Corp.
Kim Yoo-yong, a professor in the Department of Food and Animal Biotechnology at Seoul National University and president of the Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Companies (AAAP)/Joint Press Corp.

By Lee Kyung-min

An indiscriminate push organized by animal rights activists to reform the current system of factory farming could bring down the country’s livestock industry, an expert said on Sunday.

While compelling and morally just animal rights claims may emerge, the concerns of local stakeholders who have direct experience of agricultural environmental management should not be ignored when promoting animal welfare. , according to Kim Yoo-yong, a professor in the Department of Food and Animals. Biotechnology at Seoul National University and President of the Asian-Australasian Association of Animal Production Companies (AAAP). He delivered a speech at the AAAP Animal Science Congress held at the Jeju Convention Center in Seogwipo, Jeju Island on August 25.

Although the UK is known for leading the way in demanding high standards of animal welfare, in the UK the number of pigs there has halved in 25 years to 402,000 last December, from 804 000 in 1997, he said.

“It was a clear collapse of the livestock industry,” Kim concluded.

The rapid slowdown in the once-booming source of growth has led to a crash and takeovers of related businesses in the animal feed production, slaughterhouse and veterinary medicine sectors.

Korea could also face a major crisis if the country’s pork self-sufficiency level drops to 35% from the current 73%.

“Korea’s pig self-sufficiency has a rate of 73%, supported by about 1 million pigs. Dropping the figure below 35% will lead to an industry-wide crisis and loss of livelihoods for pig farmers,” he said.

The strong criticism points to the Korean Ministry of Agriculture’s plan to limit the use of mating stalls to a maximum of six weeks per gestation period. The plan is expected to come into effect by 2030.

Stalls are a type of box used to confine female pigs for artificial insemination. It allows the female breeding pig to stand up or lie down but prevents her from turning over, which is why animal rights activists criticize it as inhumane.

The ministry’s policy does not take into account deaths among pigs in free and open spaces, those of small and weak ones, he said.

“Pregnant pigs sometimes miscarry, due to bullying from other stronger and bigger pigs, and stalls have a positive function to protect them. Hoisting regulations are not the solution and therefore must be revised,” Kim said.

AAAP is the largest international academic congress in Asia attended by stakeholders in the livestock industry.

High on the congress agenda is the sustainability of livestock farming, threatened by environmental issues such as climate change. Effective treatment of animal excrement is another key priority.

Korea hosted the event for the third time. The theme of this year’s conference was “Animal production for people and nature”.



























































































































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