Gov’t mulls setting limits on livestock at farms

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Gov’t mulls setting limits on livestock at farms

In an effort to prevent more epidemics, the administration is considering a plan to impose a ceiling on the number of animals that can be raised at large-scale livestock farms, government sources said.

According to a Blue House official, President Lee Myung-bak was recently briefed on a plan to improve the competitiveness of the country’s livestock industry.

“There has been concern about factory-style farming because animals [in close quarters] are more susceptible to disease,” said the official. “If introduced, the measure will only be applied to large-scale livestock farmers, but we have not reached a final decision yet.”

The country has experienced the worst-ever foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak, and experts have expressed concern that the “factory farms,” where animals are jammed into small spaces, contributed to the fast spread of the disease.

While the government was giving serious consideration to the measure, another senior Blue House source had earlier expressed the political dilemma of the issue.

“Because major livestock farmers are influential people in the industry and farm villages, it is hard for the government to push forward radical reform measures,” he said. “But it is a necessary change, and we should do our best to persuade the farmers.”

The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is expected to announce a comprehensive plan later this month to improve the competitiveness of the country’s livestock industry.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party said it will make public the disposal sites across the country where animals culled in the aftermath of the FMD outbreaks were buried.

Citing privacy issues, the government has refused to make public the information, despite growing demands from the public for the information.

While some Internet users have gathered information and created an online map of the disposal sites, the Democratic Party said yesterday that it has received the information from local governments.

The Democratic Party said the information on disposal site locations, where FMD- and avian flu-infected animals were buried, will be available on the party’s Web site.

Along with a map, a database about the slaughters will also be provided on the Web site, the party said.


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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정부, 가축사육 마릿수 제한 검토

정부가 대형 축산농가의 가축의 사육 마릿수를 제한하는 것을 골자로 한 축산 선진화 방안을 검토 중인 것으로 4일 알려졌다.

이명박 대통령은 최근 축산 선진화 방안을 보고 받고 세부 추진 방안 검토를 관계 부처에 지시한 것으로 전해졌다.

청와대 관계자는 연합뉴스와 통화에서 "우리나라는 좁은 공간에서 많은 가축을 키워 밀도가 높아 구제역과 같은 전염병에 취약하다는 지적이 있다"면서 "우리나라는 국토가 좁아 방목이 어렵기 때문에 이 같은 제도 도입이 논의되는 것"이라고 말했다.

이 관계자는 그러나 "대형 축산농을 대상으로 검토 중이지만 제도를 도입할지 아직 최종적으로 결정되지는 않았다"고 말했다.

이와 함께 정부는 축산업 허가제 도입도 검토 중인 것으로 알려졌다.

이는 축산업을 하기 위해서는 환기와 소독, 분뇨처리시설 등을 정부가 제시한 기준 이상 갖추고, 일정 시간 이상 방역을 포함한 기본 소양 교육을 받도록 하는 것이다.

농림수산식품부는 이달 중순께 이 같은 내용을 포함한 축산 선진화 방안을 발표할 예정인 것으로 알려졌다.
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