For many years, IDA has campaigned for dogs and cats in South Korea. Because of our efforts, in 2008 the government amended South Korea's Animal Protection Act to strengthen protections for animals used for food, clothing, experimentation, and entertainment. But it is still legal to kill dogs and cats for human consumption. And the 2008 amendments were never applied to the killing of dogs and cats for food.
IDA’s partners in South Korea, Coexistence for Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), recently received a tip about a dog meat “farm” in remote Gyeonggi Province. CARE activists visited the facility and what they found was appalling. Dogs were living in miserable conditions in soiled, ramshackle cages. Some had injuries and all were filthy and uncared for. The waste in the cages appeared to have never been cleaned and the dogs sat in piles of feces.
The conditions were so horrible, these brave activists felt they couldn’t leave without the dogs. At the risk of arrest and personal injury, they rescued the dogs and brought them to CARE’s animal shelter to be treated, cleaned and loved for the first time.
CARE has filed a civil complaint against the facility, and the owner has agreed to demolish the buildings and not obtain any more dogs. This is a huge victory for the dogs of South Korea!
With IDA’s assistance, CARE is also gearing up for lawsuits against dog meat shops in Gyeonggi Province. If convicted, the butchers could be fined up to 5 million won (around $5,000). This could be a great deterrent for selling dog meat.
All over South Korea, dogs are crammed like vegetables into crates. When a customer makes a selection, the dog is roughly yanked from the cage, strung up, and ruthlessly beaten - in the presence of the other poor animals - while she writhes and cries out in pain, urinates and defecates, and slowly strangles to death. The flesh is then blowtorched to improve the appearance.
Such is the fate of approximately TWO MILLION dogs each year in South Korea!
Many South Koreans believe that the adrenaline released into the dogs’ bloodstreams by their terror and agony will increase the sexual potency of the consumer, and that the beatings “tenderize” the meat.
Cats in South Korea don’t have it any better. Tens of thousands are boiled alive in pressure cookers each year to make an elixir called goyangi soju which is believed to cure rheumatism and neuralgia.
This cruelty and suffering continues because it is supported by government indifference. Profit-driven industry forces aggressively promote the myth that eating severely mistreated dogs and cats increases male sexual prowess and general health. These same people bribe government officials, intimidate animal welfare campaigners and induce newspapers to extol the “virtues” of dog and cat meat.
We must ACT NOW!
We must intensify our campaign to pressure the South Korean government to:
- enforce existing law, and
- amend it to unequivocally state that dogs and cats shall not be killed for human consumption.
IDA has already begun to ratchet up our campaign. But I desperately need your continued support to keep it going.
Please, help us escalate our vital work to protect these precious beings! Funds are urgently needed to:
- print thousands of brochures, flyers and posters, asking the public to flood key South Korean government officials with petitions, letters, phone calls, faxes, and e-mails.
- continue to support the daily work of our partners in South Korea, Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE) and Korean Animal Rights Association (KARA). They have made an urgent request for our help purchasing billboard space and bus advertisements in South Korea.
With your help we will win this battle for the millions of gentle, frightened dogs and cats tortured, mutilated, and killed in South Korea.
Thank you for your kindness, generosity, and commitment to end the exploitation and suffering of our animal friends.
Elliot M. Katz, DVM
President, In Defense of Animals