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Animal rights group demands tougher stance on dog meat

Despite recent government-led efforts to crack down on the dog meat industry, some traditional Korean markets continue to illegally slaughter dogs and sell their meat, according to animal rights group Care.

The group filed a complaint with the Seoul Central District’s Prosecution Office on Wednesday, calling for the immediate investigation into and closure of illegally-run dog slaughterhouses.


The Moran Dog Meat Market in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)
The Moran Dog Meat Market in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)


The group accused the markets, including South Korea’s biggest dog meat industry Moran Market in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, of illegally running dog butcheries. The group said that such practices were in violation of the Animal Protection Act.

The Act says that the killing of an animal without reason, such as in life-endangering situations or under the advice and supervision of a veterinarian, is animal cruelty and punishable by law. Those convicted can be jailed for a maximum of 1 year and fined up to 10 million won ($9,300).

The Livestock Product Sanitary Control Act also does not classify dogs as livestock, yet the dog meat industry is unregulated and has largely gone under the radar.


An association of Korean dog meat vendors staging a protest in central Seoul. (Yonhap)
An association of Korean dog meat vendors staging a protest in central Seoul. (Yonhap)


Earlier this year, Moran Market was ordered by the government to shut down its dog meat butcheries, which often included the display of live dogs stuffed in cages. A largely controversial practice, customers chose the dogs they wanted and shop owners subsequently slaughtered them out in the open.

But there has been significant push back on the recent closures, as shop owners feel that the government has not compensated them enough to securely set up alternative livelihoods. Furthermore, the bulk of Moran Market’s revenue comes from selling dog meat.

On Sunday, Care hosted the “Stop It 2017 Festival” at Seoul Plaza to call an end to the dog meat industry. The group said that more than 2 million dogs are slaughtered for food purposes each year.

By Paige Shin / Intern reporter (paigeshin2019@heraldcorp.com)

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