Recently, the numbers of elderly who live alone has risen and singles have led to low birthrate and graying. Because of this, the meaning of pets is changing from the thing to fondle to a friend or family. This changing recognition of pets makes related businesses’ best for foundation and recognized as a highly marketable area. According to the flow, universities are establishing new departments for caring for pets.
SMT As the meaning of pets is expanding, the importance of pet animal departments are growing. At first, explain in detail about the Department. Especially, some people think that a Department of Pet Animals is a second-choice to a Department of Veterinary Medicine. Explain the difference between two departments.
KIM Department of Veterinary Medicine is for training veterinarians. On the other hand, Department of Pet Animals produces professionals for pets, wild animals, and life science. And it aims to make specialists according with animal related industries like animal food companies, pet shops, zoos, Korea Customs Service, and others. Department of Pet Animal teach courses like animal beauticians, animal nurses, trainers, animal artificial inseminators. For example, animal trainers also are taught to train some unfamiliar animals such as tortoises, parrots and bugs because those animals have different natures and environments. Students are learning to provide suitable environments, food and breeding conditions for each animal.
SMT Nowadays high-priced services for pets are popular. In America, there is a plane for pets and in Korea, enterprises are launching services like concerts for animals and hotels for pets. Do you think those things are investments for pets or just luxury?
KIM It’s because of the aging society, low birthrates and an increase in singles make people get lonely and decrease social bonds among people. In this situation, pets take most of the share to get over those problems. In this flow, values of people are all different who watch this problem. So think about people who see pets as family. It will make an answer as to whether it will be investment or just luxury.
SMT So ironically, expenses for pets are increasing, but also abandoned pets are increasing, too. What do you think about this problem and what is the solution for this?
KIM The chances of pets being abandoned are high when people think raising pets is just fun and easy. It is good to get education about suitable breeding methods and characteristics. Since last year, government enacted animal protection laws and some local governments have implemented animal registration.
SMT Animal euthanasia is prevalent. Pets are undoubtedly living things. What do you think about this social condition?
KIM At present, abandoned pets are protected by some protecting organizations that try to find owners or find people to adopt them. If it fails, they administer euthanasia. It is desirable to make people to recognize the dignity of life and promote it to prevent abandonment.
SMT We heard that Department of Pet Animals has a course to train pets. Some people think training pets or dressing them is not concerning pets as their companion. What is your opinion about this?
KIM All animals have distinguishing characteristics like all human individuals have different talents. For example, some animals have an instinct of hunting by birth and some have good talent for alertness. This nature can be awakened by training and it makes them to show their abilities. Proper training and consideration makes pets happy and helps them to feel a sense of accomplishment.
SMT We heard that the Department of Pet Animal has a course in pet sanitation and animal husbandry. What is your opinion on how to deal with hoof-and-mouth disease?
KIM The prevalence of hoof-and-mouth disease is kind of man-made disaster caused by lack of caution and early maneuvers. To maintain our reputation as a hoofand- mouth disease free country, we make it mandatory for livestock raisers to notify when they are traveling to disease risk areas. Give information and educate about noteworthy things and systematize to manage for a certain period after travel.
Kim Nam Jung
- Dean of Department of Pet Animals, Hyechon University (Present)
- Seoul National University Bachelor’s degree in Department of Veterinary Medicine
- Chungnam National University Master’s degree & Doctor’s degree in Department of Veterinary Medicine
- Senior researcher in LG Life Science Animal Health Lab