September 29, 2023

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As farms close, calls grow for dog meat ban in South Korea

As farms close, calls grow for dog meat ban in South Korea


A dog waits to be rescued from a cage during a dog farm closure in Asan, South Korea, this week. Photo by Thomas Maresca/UPI

A canine waits to be rescued from a cage throughout a puppy farm closure in Asan, South Korea, this week. Photograph by Thomas Maresca/UPI

ASAN, South Korea, March 10 (UPI) — Just about 200 puppies and puppies destined for slaughter in the dog meat trade at a South Korean farm as an alternative located themselves freed by a team of rescue personnel from the global charity organization Humane Culture Global this week.

The dogs — typically Korean Jindos and Tosas — have lived their overall lives in squalid problems, crammed alongside one another in filthy wire cages with no protection from the features and surviving on cafe scraps, in this farm found in a rural space about 60 miles south of Seoul.

The canines are on their way to the United States and Canada, the place they will commence a lookup for adoptive family members. The farm is the most up-to-date to close as the practice of having canine meat proceeds a precipitous decline in social acceptance in South Korea.

This farm’s owner, a 73-yr-previous guy who only agreed to present his surname, Yang, claimed the time was long overdue to close the procedure he experienced operate for nearly 30 decades.

“There is no long term for the puppy meat field,” Yang stated Wednesday, amid a backdrop of barks and squeals as canine were loaded into crates for transport to the airport.

“There has been a lot of tension from animal groups and the federal government and it can be becoming a social norm that the dog meat business is a dying field,” he stated.

According to a study conducted by Nielsen Korea in Oct, 87.5{530e870c018efe4faeaf1650f5521f73bbd950ecc9f753be09e2bfdaa8245e82} of South Koreans reported they would never try to eat puppy meat, a seasonal custom that lingers primarily among the more mature generations.

The altering mind-set will come as pet ownership has grown considerably above the past many a long time. Much more than 6 million households, or around 30{530e870c018efe4faeaf1650f5521f73bbd950ecc9f753be09e2bfdaa8245e82} of the country, experienced a companion animal in 2020, in accordance to a study report by KB Money Team. Of the pet-possessing homes, some 80{530e870c018efe4faeaf1650f5521f73bbd950ecc9f753be09e2bfdaa8245e82} experienced dogs.

General public aid for a ban has also ongoing to climb, with 56{530e870c018efe4faeaf1650f5521f73bbd950ecc9f753be09e2bfdaa8245e82} favoring producing the practice illegal, in accordance to the Nielsen survey — a determine that has spiked from a lot less than 35{530e870c018efe4faeaf1650f5521f73bbd950ecc9f753be09e2bfdaa8245e82} in 2017.

Political figures have also progressively raised the probability of a ban, but the govt has been sluggish to choose concrete motion.

South Korea’s Agriculture Minister Chung Hwang-keun vowed during his nomination method in May that he would get the job done to close doggy meat use, but stated that a “social consensus” would be vital to finally prohibit the centuries-previous tradition.

“As the number of families with animals has greater and public desire in animal welfare has grown, banning canine meat is the route in which our modern society ought to go ahead,” Chung reported.

“I will make initiatives to obtain a grand compromise to stop pet dog meat consumption by thoroughly listening to and coordinating opinions of the field and animal rights groups,” he added.

Previous President Moon Jae-in purchased a critique of a pet meat ban in 2021 and a endeavor force, such as associates of dog meat farmers, was convened in December of that 12 months to research the problem.

However, the group has but to come forward with any recommendations amid increasing phone calls from animal legal rights organizations.

The activity drive “hasn’t finished but it is really not going wherever,” Borami Web optimization, HSI Korea director of govt affairs, said for the duration of the farm closure on Wednesday.

“It is really been pretty hard to go on the discussion and access an agreement over compensation [for the farmers] and a stage-out interval,” she said. “We are hoping the governing administration will get far more of a lead in this dialogue mainly because at the second we are not observing sturdy federal government leadership in this system.”

Other substantial-profile political figures have just lately spoken out towards puppy meat, which includes South Korean to start with woman Kim Keon-hee, who known as for President Yoon Suk-yeol to institute a ban in a area newspaper interview in June.

“I hope the Yoon governing administration will create concrete benefits in animal abuse, neglect of abandoned pet dogs and dog meat troubles,” Kim claimed. “In the end, not having pet dog meat is a sort of respect for man’s closest mate and respect for everyday living.”

The first pair are effectively-identified pet lovers who very own a few cats and four dogs, together with a Jindo, which is one particular of the most prevalent pet dogs elevated for meat.

Nam In-quickly, a member of South Korean parliament with the opposition Democratic Get together, visited the farm closure on Monday and stated she was stunned by the “vile and miserable atmosphere.”

“It breaks my heart to think of the puppies that would have been cruelly slaughtered if they hadn’t been rescued, but it is really lucky that they will be equipped to stay in a far better surroundings,” she wrote on Instagram. “We will attempt for a modify in canine-feeding on society and generate a world where by humans and animals coexist.”

Pet meat is most typically witnessed in a stew referred to as bosintang, which is eaten on the most popular days of the summer months and is believed by some to raise vitality.

In one more signal of the changing times, on the other hand, the rate of goat meat employed in a stew similar to bosintang has soared by 73{530e870c018efe4faeaf1650f5521f73bbd950ecc9f753be09e2bfdaa8245e82} in less than a calendar year as desire plummets for the pet meat dish, according to media reviews.

The exercise has also prolonged been a national embarrassment for many in South Korea, coming beneath the highlight during major worldwide occasions these types of as the Olympics.

Last month, an exchange program that would have introduced high faculty students from the town of Incheon to New Jersey was canceled due to concerns elevated by U.S. animal legal rights groups over Korea’s pet dog meat custom.

Slipping need, damaging public opinion and activist strain have led to the closure of several of the country’s major slaughterhouses and marketplaces in modern a long time. Even now, HSI estimates that approximately 1 million dogs are remaining bred throughout South Korea to be killed for human use, with a lot of farms working illegally.

Yang’s farm was lawfully registered, but he explained is wanting ahead to a contemporary get started rising cabbages with assist from a grant from HSI. Below its Versions for Alter application, the charity has shut 18 farms in South Korea given that 2015, acquiring properties for a lot more than 2,700 canine in the United States, Canada, Britain and the Netherlands.

The farmer also said he grew to see dogs differently all over the months-extensive system of shutting down his farm, which included the HSI workforce offering veterinary cure and suitable nutrition and giving the puppies names these as Maple, Poppy and Mia.

“I feel excellent understanding that the canines from my farm are likely to the United States, where by they will have a excellent environment, the place they satisfy new households and be cherished,” Yang claimed.

“I utilized to feel pet dogs have been just one more species of animal consumed by men and women,” he mentioned. “But looking at the way [the rescue workers] treated them so very carefully, I begun to realize that dogs can be a portion of human culture and families.”