Stop the Dog and Cat Consumption in S. Korea
Every year, two million South Korean dogs and cats, the majority of whom are homeless, are captured by butchers and sold in open markets. They await the most gruesome fate—dogs are slowly and agonizingly torn apart, electrocuted, strangled, or beaten to death while cats are bludgeoned and boiled alive for human consumption. The cruelty and suffering is one of unimaginable horror.
South Korean's Animal Protection Law, which was passed in 1991, considers dogs to be "domestic pets," but the shadowy and illicit world of the dog and cat industry flourishes because of the shameful indifference of the South Korean government.
While the majority of South Koreans are dog and cat lovers, myths and lies surrounding the alleged medicinal properties of the meat persists among a very small minority of the population.
South Koreans have only eaten dogs when poverty has been widespread, as was the case during World War II. Yet even during those punishing times, dogs were treated as companion animals.
But with the sanctioning of authorities and exploitative opportunities for profit, unscrupulous dog traders perpetuate the falsehood that canine meat increases male sexual prowess and overall health and that cats produce tonics that are believed to cure rheumatism and arthritis. This illegal industry is very powerful: it bribes government officials and police, hires thugs to intimidate animal-welfare campaigners, and persuades newspapers to extol the "virtues" of dog meat.
Official figures indicate there are at least 6,484 stores nationwide dealing in the horrific trade of dog and cat meat.
"It's inconceivable to me that a being we consider "man's best friend" could be so mercilessly killed, skinned, and butchered. And that our beloved cats experience such unthinkable cruelty." --Elliot M. Katz, DVM
"I asked about the eating of dogs and was told over an over that it didn't happen anymore. You can imagine my shock and horror upon getting lost in one of the huge markets in downtown Taegu. I looked down and saw the head of a dog with its legs stuffed in its mouth. I saw limbs that were skinned. Everywhere I turned there were dogs in cages. The smell was overwhelming. That market, that sweltering hot August day, was what I envisioned hell to be like." –An American teacher in South Korea
The fate of the innocent...
In spite of the 1991 law, which prohibits consumption of dogs and cats, a thriving industry exists within the markets of South Korea. Unlawful and unsanitary dog farms are hidden away in the countryside, where breeders raise their stock for butchers.
IDA continues to partner with South Korean animal-protection organizations to put pressure on the country's government to strengthen the legislation prohibiting the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption and at long last illegalizing this indefensible atrocity.
Animal Welfare Institute
In Defense of Animals