MONTREAL – Friends of Humane Society International is shining a global spotlight on the connection between South Korea’s cruel puppy mill trade and the dog meat industry by helping to rescue 200 dogs and puppies from a horrendous dog meat farm. Approximately 160 dogs are bound for Canada where they will be temporarily sheltered in Cambridge, Ontario, with some destined for Montreal where they will be rehabilitated at Friends of HSI’s emergency shelter.
This is HSI’s 14th dog meat farm closure in South Korea. The facility doubled as a puppy mill, with the dogs being sold as pets or for slaughter depending on where the greatest profits could be found. As a result, many of the dogs are small breeds such as Chihuahuas, corgis, Yorkshire terriers, poodles, Pomeranians, shih tzus and French bulldogs.
Ewa Demianowicz, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada, said: “These dogs have been surviving in appalling conditions, in barren, filthy cages, with inadequate food and water and almost no veterinary care or human contact. Sadly, it is likely that many never left the cramped cages they have been confined in. It is heartbreaking to imagine how much they have suffered in their lives. Our team is eager to see these wonderful dogs leave this horrible place and arrive in Canada to get the love and care that they need. HSI works with farmers who want to leave the dog meat trade by transitioning them to more humane industries, rescuing the dogs and closing the facilities. In turn, the owners sign contracts stating they will not return to the dog meat trade. The owner of the facility is eager to leave his business as his family disapproves and it is becoming less profitable.
Dog meat consumption is declining rapidly in South Korea, particularly among younger generations, with a survey by Gallup Korea in June 2018 showing that 70 percent of South Koreans say they will not eat dog meat in future. A series of recent moves by authorities to curb the dog meat trade reflects how Korean society is increasingly ill at ease with the industry. In November 2018, in Seongnam City, HSI/Canada participated in shutting down Taepyeong, the largest dog slaughterhouse in the country. As political and public momentum to end the dog meat trade grows within South Korea, HSI hopes its program will demonstrate a phase-out model that can one day be adopted nationwide with state support.
- More than 2.5 million dogs a year are reared on thousands of dog meat farms across South Korea.
- Most people in South Korea don’t regularly eat dog, but it remains popular during the Bok days of summer in July and August, when it is eaten as a soup called bosintang.
- Dogs are mainly killed by electrocution, taking up to five minutes to die. Hanging is also practiced.
- The dog meat industry is in legal limbo in South Korea, neither legal nor illegal. Many provisions of the Animal Protection Act are routinely breached, such as the ban on killing animals in a brutal way including hanging by the neck, and on killing them in public areas or in front of other animals of the same species.