Animals in Agriculture in South Korea
Food is an important part of Korean culture; not only because it feeds the population but also because it has to do with Korean cultural identity. Historically, traditional Korean cuisine consisted of grains, in particular rice, and fresh vegetables, due to the impossibility of accessing meat products. With time, other traditional cuisines merged and mixed with Korean cuisine, with the appearance of such meals as pizza, burgers, sushi, and other foreign dishes. It can be easily emphasized that traditionally, Koreans have been vegetarians and used meat in their dishes very rarely as it has been a delicacy. In modern times, with the development of the agricultural and aquaculture industry, meat has become much more accessible and, of course, profitable for businesses in the country.
Animals in Agriculture
Now, South Korea is working on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The agricultural industry, including the livestock sector, accounts for only 3% of total domestic emissions, but greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock industry sector in Korea are still increasing. The South Korean government is targeting a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from livestock by 2030 by expanding the share of renewable energy produced using animal waste.
The Animal Protection Act in Article 10 states that when farmed animals are slaughtered in accordance with the Livestock Products Sanitary Control Act and the Act on the Prevention of Contagious Animal Diseases, their suffering shall be minimized. For example, the Ordinance of the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries provides that such methods as gas stunning or electrical stunning shall only be used when animals are already unconscious. Also, the same Article 10 of the Animal Protection Act highlights that animals shall not be slaughtered in a cruel manner and shall be free from unnecessary pain, fear, or stress in the process of slaughtering. However, this again only applies to those farms and facilities that are licensed to operate businesses and do not apply to single farmers or local small farms. While enterprises that conduct slaughter are required to have a license to operate, still lack of animal welfare or the violation of animal cruelty provisions are not explicitly listed as the reason to suspend a license under the Livestock Products Sanitary Control Act or the Livestock Industry Act.