The Korea Herald

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Man arrested for stealing semen of hanwoo breeding bull

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : March 18, 2024 - 16:23

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A South Korean man was arrested for breaking into a livestock lab in Jangsu County, North Jeolla Province, and stealing the semen of a Korean bull of high genetic significance, local police said Monday.

According to the county police, the suspect, a meat industry insider in his 30s, is alleged to have broken into the laboratory around 8 p.m. on March 8 and committed the theft. He stored the stolen semen in a cryogenic nitrogen container which he had to preserve its condition.

The suspect was identified through the analysis of surveillance camera footage and was arrested within a week after the initial report of theft by the lab, the police officers said.

Korean cattle, called hanwoo, are prized for their premium quality meat, commanding a price significantly higher than that of non-hanwoo or imported beef.

The value of the stolen semen is difficult to quantify in monetary terms, but according to researchers, it has the potential to significantly enhance both the quantity and quality of meat from Korean cows.

The police said they are currently investigating the detailed motives behind the crime and assessing the extent of the damages. The suspect appears to have profited from selling some of the stolen semen, already, they added.