After a dog meat farm in Yongin city, South Korea, was closed down, about fifty dog left behind were at risk of being euthanised – but several Korean animal protection groups joined forces to save them on 19 April 2021.
The farm the dogs lived in had been operating in breach of the national Animal Protection Act, and the people running the farm had left it following a demolition order by local officials. When Humane Society International/Korea, LIFE, KoreanK9Rescue and Yongin Animal Care Association stepped in, they found the dogs locked in barren metal cages “without water or proper food”.
Many of the dogs suffered from malnutrition, sores and skin diseases. All the dogs, plus a farmer’s pet terrier, are now receiving veterinary care before they move on to forever homes.
Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s campaign manager, said, “These dogs really needed our help because they would have been euthanised by the authorities without a rescue plan. We knew we had to act fast to save them, so it was wonderful that HSI, LIFE, KK9K and YACA all worked so well together as a team to get these dogs out.
“These efforts show how much passion there is in South Korea to end the dog meat industry. These dogs were in a pitiful state, skinny and frightened and existing in terrible conditions. It was shocking to see the slaughter area on site too with abandoned electrocution equipment and knives. I am horrified to think how many dogs lost their lives there.
“The sooner we can end the dog meat industry, the sooner we can see an end to such pitiful scenes of animal suffering.”
As the overwhelming majority of South Koreans reject eating dogs, with growing support for a ban on dog meat consumption, the drop in sales is leading more dog farmers to leave the industry. Humane Society International/Korea runs a scheme to help them leave the business behind and transition to a humane livelihood, and has helped close 17 dog meat farms in the country so far.
In-Seob Sim, president of LIFE, said, “It has been 30 years since the Animal Protection Act was established in Korea, however still so many animals are not protected properly. Government officials should make and implement policies to ban the slaughter of dogs for food. We should no longer subject this misery on future generations of dogs.”
Images by Jean Chung/HSI