Seoul Stands up to Downer Cattle Slaughter

SEOUL, KOREA - The South Korean government said Monday it will tighten butchering rules for downer cattle to alleviate public concerns about tainted meat entering the food chain.
calendar icon 9 February 2009
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The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said it will push to enforce new guidelines starting in the first half of 2010 to ban the butchering of all downer cattle outside government-regulated slaughter houses, writes Lee Joon-seung for Yonhap News.

According to the news item, the move will halt the current practice of allowing animals to be slaughtered at farms and ranches in special cases if the process is approved by a certified veterinarian and all mandatory tests have been conducted.

This rule was set up to allow cattle owners to dispose of animals that could not be moved or would have died en route to butchering facilities.

Downer cows refer to animals that cannot walk properly, usually due to physical injuries, bloating, problems encountered while giving birth and depleted calcium levels in the bones. Cattle in the advanced stages of mad cow disease are also unable to walk.

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