A dog meat farm in Yongin city was recently shut down by authorities. However, the farm was then abandoned, along with the 50 dogs that remained in cages. The pups were scheduled to be euthanized due to their sickly state, but thankfully Korean animal protection groups stepped in and rescued all 50 dogs.
Authorities were quick to shut down the dog farm once it was apparent that it was operating in breach of the national Animal Protection Act, which is a Korean legislation created to protect the life, safety and welfare of animals. Once local officials put in a demolition order on the farm, the four farmers moved off the property, leaving the dogs behind.
Humane Society International, KoreanK9Rescue, and Yongin Animal Care Association all teamed up with the local authorities to rescue the dogs and avoid euthanization. When the rescuers arrived, they found the 50 dogs locked in cold, metal cages with little room for movement. The pups had no food or water, and many were clearly sick and malnourished.
Most cages had no floor, only more wiring, leaving many of the pups with painful sores on their feet. They showed signs of untreated skin diseases, as well as head and ear wounds. Due to this horrific experience, a number of the dogs were extremely afraid of people, cowering in a curled up ball in the corner of their cages and trembling if a rescuer came near.
Many of the animals’ cages were next to the slaughter area, leaving these pups traumatized from listening to and watching other dogs being killed. The rescued dogs, which are believed to be mostly strays and possibly stolen pets, represent a wide range of breeds, but mostly jindos and mastiffs. These two breeds are often promoted as “meat dogs” in the industry, and are frequently seen in these slaughterhouse rescues.
“These efforts show how much passion there is in South Korea to end the dog meat industry,” explained Nara Kim, Humane Society International’s campaign manager. “These dogs were in a pitiful state, skinny and frightened and existing in terrible conditions. I am horrified to think how many dogs lost their lives there.”
All of the rescued dogs are now receiving veterinary care and any necessary vaccinations. Soon, they will be flown to the Humane Society International’s temporary shelters in Canada and the United States, where they will hopefully find their forever homes.
Though these rescued pups are getting the happy ending they deserve, many dogs are not as lucky. “It has been 30 years since the Animal Protection Act was established in Korea, however still so many animals are not protected properly,” In-Seob Sim, President of LIFE, explained. “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.”
According to the Animal Welfare Institute, “two million dogs are purportedly killed for food every year in South Korea, and over 100,000 metric tons of dog meat are consumed annually.” With dog meat farms scattered throughout the country, it’s estimated that the industry is worth over $200 million. “It is significant that these dogs are being given the chance of a new life instead of being euthanized or killed at the slaughterhouse,” said Hyun Yu Kim, KoreanK9Rescue Founder. “However, there are still countless dogs out there bred for meat who are still suffering. We are calling for urgent action from the government to introduce laws to ban the dog meat trade and protect dogs like these.”
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