Update: Abandoned Animals’ Bodies in Animal Feed

Factory Processing Abandoned Animal Bodies

In December 2019, we disclosed the fact that animal shelters on a contract with Boryeong, Nonsan, Geumsan, Buyeo, and Seocheon Counties in South Chungcheong Province were sending deceased abandoned animals’ bodies to H***, a rendering enterprise that produces animal fat and oil used in animal feed.

Thereafter, we sent official requests to the local South Chungcheong Province government, the relevant municipalities, and the Animal Welfare department and Livestock Environment Resources division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) for an investigation of the issue and the involved facilities.

To our disappointment, the responses we received, if any, were only general ones. MAFRA’s Animal Welfare department has, up to now, ignored our official request and all of our phone calls. And, it still has not been revealed into which animal feed products the materials from the abandoned animals’ bodies had been added.

Representatives from the South Chungcheon Province visited H***, but they couldn’t check for evidence of rendering of deceased shelter animals because the factory had been sending the pulverized bodies to waste disposal facilities immediately after the rendering process. These waste disposal facilities incinerated the pulverized bodies making any kind of identification impossible.

Based on information from the city of Boryeong, H*** told the city that they will “cease to dispose of the abandoned animals bodies.” Subsequently, the city of Boryeong decided to make contracts with other enterprises that manage body collection and transportation.

Additionally, we discovered that H*** had been receiving bodies from animal shelters in various cities and counties of North and South Gyeongsang Province (Miryang City, Gimcheon City, Cheongsong County,) and North Chungcheong Province (Boeun County.) This meant that H*** had been rendering shelter animal bodies from all over South Korea.

Logically, the organization that must supervise such regulations is MAFRA’s Animal Welfare department. It must deal seriously with this issue in order to find a solution. This will involve thorough inspections of abandoned animals’ bodies disposal processes in all South Korean animal shelters, and strict enforcement or regulations to prevent bodies from being sent to facilities that fall under suspicion of producing materials for animal feed.

South Korean animal protection laws and animal shelter operation guidelines state that following an animal’s death, the body must be disposed of by methods laid out in the Waste Control Act or handled by registered animal funeral facilities.

We will continue to try to contact MAFRA’s Animal Welfare department until we get an answer.

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