Via The Korea Times, a disturbing report: Quarantine officials mentally traumatized. While the story deals with culling pigs and cattle, I suspect the same effects are experienced by those destroying poultry in Korea's latest B2B H5N1 outbreak: Excerpt:
Nearly 70 percent of government officials, who participated in the slaughter or the live burial of animals on farms infected with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), are suffering severe mental trauma, a survey showed Friday.
About 14 percent of them were physically hurt or contracted diseases during the operations, according to the survey.
Rep. Kim Young-woo of the ruling Grand National Party commissioned the questioning of 211 officials mobilized for quarantine efforts earlier this month.
More than half of them (51.2 percent) complained of mental trauma following the operations. Nearly 29 percent were suffering from sleep deprivation or chronic fatigue, while another 13 percent said they still felt the effects from the memory of the noise and stench from the burial sites.
The results came amid soaring criticism that quarantine officials have buried hundreds of thousands of cows and pigs alive. The authorities explained the inhumane action was inevitable with the spread of the disease outpacing the authorities’ slaughter capacity before a proper burial.
It has drawn a strong backlash from environmentalists and animal rights activists who recently staged a rally to call for a halt to the live burial of animals and the wider use of FMD vaccination.
Since Nov. 29 when the first outbreak of the disease was reported in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, nearly 1,070,000 cows and pigs have been culled in 45 cities and counties across the country, according to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Many of them are believed to have been buried alive. The ministry warned that tens of thousands more could be destroyed in the days to come as the spread of the disease spins out of control.
The ministry raised the alert level for FMD to serious in late December and launched a pan-government crisis center to keep the deadly disease from spreading further.
“The problem is that the government mobilized inexperienced officials in quarantine operations,” Rep. Kim said. “Side effects from the move are appearing in the form of mental trauma or other health problems.”