Seoul’s once-thriving dog meat trade has been officially resigned to the history books after the final slaughterhouses in the city agreed to stop killing animals on site. The South Korean capital’s Mayor Park Won-soon and the Seoul Metropolitan Government have been fighting to ban the practice for the past year as attitudes towards dog meat change across the country.
The announcement that the remaining shops will no longer kill animals in Seoul is a major victory for animal rights charity the Humane Society International/Korea, which has been active in South Korea since 2015 working with dog meat farmers to close farms, rescue dogs and drive change.
Dog meat consumption has declined rapidly in South Korea, particularly among younger generations.
A survey by Gallup Korea in June 2018 found that 70% of South Koreans said they would not eat dog meat in future.
In July this year HSI/Korea assisted in the closure of South Korea’s notorious Grupo dog meat market in Busan, following the closure the previous year of Taepyeong – the largest dog slaughterhouses in the country in Seongnam.
Nara Kim, dog meat campaign manager for Humane Society International/Korea said in a statement sent to Totally Vegan Buzz: “I am so happy to see Seoul’s last remaining dog meat shops end dog slaughter. Although these shops can still sell dog meat, it is nonetheless wonderful to see South Korea take one step further away from this dying industry that most Koreans want nothing to do with.
“It gives me hope that South Korea’s future is dog meat-free. HSI/Korea will continue working with the government, and supporting farmers who no longer want to work in the dog meat trade, so that one day we will be able to celebrate the closure of South Korea’s final dog slaughterhouse.”
The charity has so far closed 15 dog meat farms in South Korea, helping farmers to close down their dog meat farms and transition to alternative, humane livelihoods.
Increasingly, dog farmers are keen to exit the controversial trade due to societal shame, family pressure, and decreasing profits, HSI explained.
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