An animal protection center operated by the provincial government of Jeju Island said Sunday parts of dead animals have been used for producing feedstock.
The Jeju animal hygiene lab -- to which the animal center is affiliated -- said Sunday that remains of dogs from the center were forwarded to a rendering firm which sold the bone parts to feedstock manufacturers between January and Oct. 9 this year.
Jeju Animal Protection Center (Yonhap)
Rendering refers to the process of converting waste animal tissues into usable materials such as industrial oils and fertilizers.
Earlier on Friday, Democratic Party lawmaker Rep. Yun June-ho released data which showed a total of 3,829 dog remains -- 1,434 resulting from natural deaths and 2,395 from euthanized dogs -- had been rendered and the by-products used to produce animal feed from January to September this year.
Animal corpses were buried as general waste until last year, but due to the lack of dumping areas in the region, the institute started delivering the corpses to rendering companies.
Korean law prohibits the use of animal parts for feed production and stipulates a maximum of three-year jail term or fine of 30 million won ($25,400) for those who violate the law.
The hygiene institute apologized for the incident and said it has started disposing all animal bodies from its animal care unit as medical waste starting Oct. 10.
By Choi Ji-won (email@example.com