South Korean Monks Pray for 1.9M Culled Animals

Foot-and-mouth disease outbreak worst in country's history
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2011 2:39 PM CST
South Korean Buddhist monks with the ancestral tablets of livestock killed by foot-and-mouth disease march during a memorial service at the Jogye Temple in Seoul, South Korea, Jan. 19, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(Newser) – Buddhist monks in South Korea held a massive memorial service today for the more than 1.9 million animals killed in a desperate attempt to halt the country’s foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. Surrounded by the faithful, the monks bowed before photos of the culled animals, offering them chrysanthemums as a traditional symbol of grief.

“We have to do our best to make animals infected … die peacefully with the help of the government,” one monk said, an allusion, according to the AP, to criticisms that the livestock killings have been inhumane. According to the government, the animals were given muscle relaxants, killed and buried. But activists have claimed that many pigs were buried alive.

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