Our South Korean activist friends at Ccsogaon, formerly known as Dasom are worried. And they have every reason to be. A few weeks back, the butchery facilities at Moran Market in Seongnam City were dismantled along with the dog cages. Many people on social media were very happy and hopeful, assuming that this would mean an end to the sale of dog and cat meat, at least in Seongnam City.
Dog cages being removed from Moran Market.
This has come about due to activists lobbying the Seongnam City government. It was also helped along by regular protesting at the market itself, by Ccsogaon/Dasom, and other brave activist groups. However they are extremely concerned right now, because although the butchery facilities and dogs have gone, the market still continues to sell dog meat. It is now packaged and kept in refrigerators.
The team at Ccsogaon inform us that there are still many dog meat farms in existence, where the meat is being produced and packaged. At the end of last year there was some talk of the South Korean Parliament improving the laws around cruelty towards dogs and cats. These laws, have not come into effect yet, but hopefully will do soon. There was however, never any talk at Parliament on banning the sale or consumption of dog and cat meat.
Activists at Moran Market
At No To Dog Meat, we are against the consumption of dogs and cats and our CEO has been campaigning at the World Animal Health Organization for the last few years, presenting evidence on the human health risks of eating dogs, and urging them to declare dog/cat meat unfit for human consumption.
Around two years ago, after meeting with the Chinese representative of the World Animal Health Organization, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture surprisingly made a statement about dog meat being a risk to human health, though not much has changed in China yet, it is still a step in the right direction. This kind of statement has not yet been made by the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture.
Dogs at Moran Market.
In the meantime, we soldier on, our Charitable Objective number 5 states that we are:
“Campaigning for animal welfare laws to be respected and enforced both on an international and national level for animals in the dog and cat meat trade at all levels, including dog farms, live transport of dogs and cats for slaughter; slaughter house regulations and/or suppression of boiling/skinning and blow torching live dogs and cats in the meat markets.”
We do live in hope, however, that dog and cat meat consumption will be banned in South Korea one day soon, and when the current president, Park Geun-hye steps down early, due to corruption charges, it could be the start. When she was elected a few years back, her main opposition opponent Moon Jae-in, a former leader of Democratic Party of Korea, stated he wanted to ban all dog and cat meat. We live in hope that he, or someone like him will be a kinder future president and make those changes one day.
A farm visited by activists last year.
Right now though, the Ccsogaon activists are fearing the worst – that the dogs in the remote farms are still being tortured to death, and that dog meat will one day be made legal.
Now they tell us their next move is to do an investigation into the slaughter at the dog farms, to gather more evidence to take to the governments and to parliament. We sent them a small donation towards this and they would like to thank our supporters for this. They have informed us the money will be used to pay for transport to the dog farms, which are in remote locations on the outskirts of the cities and that they have several dog farms on their list to go to.
If you would like to donate specifically towards this group’s investigation, please send a small donation via pay pal to firstname.lastname@example.org and put a note in, to tell us it is for the investigation.
Meanwhile we are still lobbying the World Animal Health Organization, asking them to keep raising the human health risks of eating dog meat, and we want to push the Korean Department of Agriculture to declare this fact, in the same way the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture declared it, two years ago.