The Final Stages of Closing the Third Dog Meat Farm in South Korea
On 27th October, ten adorable puppies and their gentle mothers began the next stage of their journeys towards new lives. The puppies and their two mums were among the 103 dogs rescued last month during the closure of a dog meat farm by Change For Animals Foundation (CFAF) and Humane Society International (HSI).
At the time of the rescue, these puppies were too young to travel and so, together with their mums, they were temporarily homed with foster carers. By the end of October they were old enough and strong enough to make the final part of their journey to freedom! CFAF’s Lola Webber and HSI’s Adam Parascandola prepared the dogs for their flight to a new life in the USA where they will be adopted into loving forever homes.
Lola Webber, Programmes Director at CFAF, explains: “Visiting these dog meat farms never gets any easier, but it fills my heart with joy to know that these puppies have been spared a life of misery and will instead experience love, freedom and compassion. It is so satisfying to know that they, unlike countless litters of puppies before them, will not spend their days confined in barren cages, hungry and scared. The closure of these dog meat farms means that the rescued animals will live happy lives as cherished family members that we wish for all the dogs caught up in the cruel dog meat industry. However, our thoughts are with the countless other dogs still suffering on dog meat farms. We have a long road ahead of us but we are determined to end this cruelty.”
This week, we witnessed the demolition of the cages and infrastructure of the former dog farm. All of the dog cages were dismantled and will never again house an animal. The rest of the farm facilities were also destroyed. Farmer Kim is glad to draw a line under his involvement in this business, which he confessed brought shame to his family and community.
Life of suffering and a brutal death
The dog meat trade is inherently cruel. In all the farms we have visited over the years, we have seen a mixture of dog breeds from large mastiffs to tiny Chihuahuas, all spending their entire lives in small, filthy cages waiting to be killed for human consumption. The dogs are commonly killed by electrocution, often in front of each other. Read more here >>
Changing hearts and minds
More than two million dogs are bred and killed each year for their meat in South Korea. In China and other countries where dog meat is eaten, most of the dogs involved are stolen from the streets. However, in South Korea they are bred on both small and large-scale farms. Through working with dog meat farmers to close their businesses, we hope to demonstrate to the South Korean government that it is economically viable to ban the production and sale of dog meat. With the Winter Olympics being held in South Korea in 2018, there is a key window of opportunity to end this inherently cruel industry before the eyes of the world are on the country.
Many South Koreans mistakenly believe that dogs bred for meat are somehow different from others. But, we have seen time and time again that, despite their ordeal, these dogs are usually friendly and desperate for human affection.
CFAF and HSI will be launching public awareness campaigns to encourage South Koreans to think differently about “meat dogs” – they are no different to the pet dogs that a growing number of Koreans are welcoming into their homes as companions. Although dog adoption is not yet widely established in the country, we hope to see that change in the future by building a community of citizens who are willing to adopt former farmed dogs into their homes and help Korean society take these beautiful animals into their hearts.