Dogs Rescued from South Korea Dog Meat Farm Now Safe in California
Fifty seven dogs and puppies have been rescued from a dog meat farm in South Korea by Change For Animals Foundation and Humane Society International. The lucky dogs are now on their way to new lives in California, USA. They include beagles, poodles, and Korean Jindos to large Tosas. All have spent their entire lives in small, filthy, crowded cages exposed to extreme weather on the farm, waiting to be killed for their meat.
Across Asia, millions of dogs suffer as part of the cruel dog meat trade. Most are snatched from the streets, but South Korea is the only known Asian country to have a farming industry that produces dogs solely for meat. CFAF and HSI are partners in a consortium that is campaigning to end the industry, and is engaging dog meat farmers in the country to help them transition to alternative humane livelihoods, such as crop growing. In this case, all 57 dogs have been removed from the farm and were flown to San Francisco to be rehomed.
Lola Webber, CFAF programmes director, said: “Some of these dogs were in a terrible state both physically and mentally. They’ve spent their entire lives living in fear and deprivation. As soon as we opened their cage doors and they realised we weren’t going to harm them, many wagged their tails and licked our faces. I felt very privileged to give these dogs the first ever cuddle and kiss of their lives.”
Mr Lee, the farmer on this farm, had bred dogs for their meat for 20 years. He was part of an industry that sees upwards of two million dogs consumed in South Korea each year. Facing criticism from family members for his participation in the trade, Mr Lee was eager to work with CFAF to close his dog farm and start a new livelihood of growing crops.
As Mr. Lee explained, “I think a lot of people want to get out of the dog meat trade. People don’t like dog meat like they did in the past.”
The dogs have been flown to San Francisco to be evaluated and treated for medical issues. All the dogs will be found loving, permanent homes.
Adam Parascandola, HSI’s director of animal protection and crisis response, said: “These lucky dogs will live the rest of their lives as valued and treasured members of a forever family in the United States. These amazing animals are full of character and will make loving and loyal companions. But millions more dogs back in South Korea will die for dog meat, so our work will continue, to shut down more farms and call for an end to this cruel trade. With the Winter Olympics coming to South Korea in 2018, we have a clear opportunity to end the dog meat trade as the world focuses on South Korea.”
The dog meat trade is brutal, and the method of slaughter grisly. Most dogs raised for meat in South Korea are electrocuted in full view of others awaiting the same fate.
Dog adoption in South Korea is limited to mostly small, purebred dogs. Public awareness campaigns are needed to highlight the cruelty of the dog meat trade and close the gap in perception of there being a difference between “pet dogs” and “meat dogs”. This would mean that eventually in-country dog adoption of dogs destined to be killed for their meat would be possible. Our investigations over many years have found that even dogs bred to be pets can end up as part of the meat industry if nobody buys them. CFAF’s and HSI’s long-term objective is to encourage the South Korean government to assist farmers to transition to alternative and more humane businesses.
In January, we rescued 23 dogs from a South Korean dog meat farm and worked with the farmer to convert his land to growing blueberries. All those dogs are now living in the United States with new families or undergoing rehabilitation with local animal shelters.