On March 7th, 2023, Humane Society International’s animal rescue team closed its 18th dog meat farm in South Korea. Over 190 dogs were saved and the first batch of 16 dogs just arrived at our care and rehabilitation centre in Québec. In the coming months, we expect to open our facility doors to more survivors, to provide them with support during their physical and psychological recovery.
The conditions of Farm 18 were some of the worst that our team has ever seen. Dogs were overcrowded in small wire cages, without proper access to food and water.
Friends of HSI’s senior companion animal manager, Amélie Martel, says: “The vast majority of these dogs showed signs of extreme fear of humans and novelty, a consequence of the horrific living conditions in which they were raised. Several of them were emaciated or had lesions on their skin, and urgent medical treatment was provided, including anti-parasitic treatments. Now that their medical checkups are complete, the dogs are ready to start the healing process, which will take time and patience. Despite their extremely difficult past and lack of human contact, these dogs demonstrate impressive resilience and many of them are beginning to develop trusting relationships with our dedicated team.”
While at our care and rehabilitation centre, our team of animal experts and behaviorists will be working with these survivors to overcome their trauma. The dogs will learn skills like walking on a leash, walking up stairs and most importantly, they will learn to trust humans before finding their loving homes.
The dog meat farm closure comes at a time of increasing public and political support for ending the dog meat industry in South Korea. Last year, First lady Kim Keon-hee openly called for a ban, and latest opinion surveys show that most South Koreans (85%) don’t eat dog meat and that 56% support a ban.
The owner of the recently shuttered farm, Mr. Yang, is leaving dog meat farming behind and will be transitioning to cabbage farming through HSI/Korea’s Models for Change program.