At the Civilian Control Line region in South Korea, Ground Operations Command has joined in on an extensive hunt and seizure of wild boars.
Gangwon Province and northern regions in Gyeonggi Province have observed an increased number of pigs infected with the African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV), so the South Korean army’s justification for culling wild boar was to prevent an extensive viral spread prior to the spring mating season.
Ever since we and the Korean Association for Animal Protection (KAAP) have been monitoring culling procedures in response to the ASFV outbreak in September 2019, there has been continued transmission of the disease among pigs.
Initially, the South Korean government focused on culling domestic pigs, but this measure was later applied to capturing and killing wild boar. This endless killing has gone from the live burial of livestock to the mass shooting of wildlife.
According to an announcement made by National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) on March 25th, ASFV was found in 6 wild boars recently, which makes a total of 421 confirmed cases among wild boar in South Korea up to today.
Last year, we and KAAP exposed how domestic pigs were being buried alive following the ASFV outbreak and urged humane euthanasia instead of such cruel culling methods. This is the bare minimum which we as humans, who have enslaved and exploited these animals, must do for them. However, the South Korean government has never been attentive to such requests.
The South Korean government considers it wasteful and inconvenient to employ the more humane culling technique of gassing wild boar. Instead, the boars are mercilessly shot to death.
In January 2019, the Rural Development Administration went further by promoting in the media methods of capturing and killing wild boar without relocating the traps.
“Trap, then shoot, or just shoot right away.” is the government’s only policy measure for culling wild boar.
Animal rights is not an extravagant ideology. It can be carried out in simple ways. It only takes a little empathy and doing what’s most humane for these creatures that can feel pain and complex emotions just like humans do. We are merely a minuscule part of this planet that must coexist peacefully with other organisms without causing them harm or pain as greatly as we have been doing and still do to this day. This is the least we can do as human beings.
As we pause and reflect on the long way we still need to go in strengthening animal rights in South Korea, we feel an even greater drive to continue fighting for an improved world for the voiceless.
Our thoughts go to the wild boar that have been cruelly shot to death in fear and despair. May they rest in peace.