“Days of Bok” – BOKNAL

How is it Different from the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and is Korea Changing?

Today July 19th marks the first annual ‘ dog eating day’ on the Korean calendar and as we prepare for our protest in London this Thursday 23rd we look at the current situation and plight of the dogs and cats.

What is Boknal?

In Summer, when it is hot, Korean people usually go out to eat a dish called Samgyetang (삼계탕). This is a made from chicken which is boiled in a hot pot and stuffed with rice, herbs and ginseng herbs. They do it to ‘cool’ the body.

There are still though Koreans who keep their tradition of eating boshintang or dog soup and this is made from dogs-from farms, strays or people’s pets who are brutally tortured.

Days of Bok (伏)/ Boknals are traditionally considered to be the hottest days of summer, which range from mid-July to mid-August in South Korea.

The First Bokal (初伏) is today July 19

Middle Boknal (中伏) falls on July 29

 and Last Boknal (末伏) will be on August 8, this year.

The dates are calculated on the basis of the Lunar calendar.

In previous years, our activists witnessed the horrors of Koreans feasting on dogs at the notorious Moran market. Dogs often with collars on staring out with pleading eyes and revellers selected them for slaughter. In 2012 we launched a UK Government petition to close this vile market, and in 2017 the mayor of Seoul ordered the dismantling of cages in this market. For us, it signalled a true beginning of change as soon other markets started to close. Of course, dogs are still sold, and gruesome farms and abuse continue, but we saw progress. And as activists we must cling to every win and forge on.

What encouraged us the most was the courageous local activists who continue to speak out. We work closely with grassroots activists CCGAON who braved the cold and protested the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics

We also support them in investigating and closing illegally run dog farms and their action to protect street cats with spay and neuter and to stop them from being boiled alive and turned into traditional medicines.

Their protests with our distinctive NoToDogMeat banners were featured in Australian filmmakers excellent movie The Dog Meat Professionals: South Korea” https://youtu.be/cCdTceduKcY which our charity helped to promote.

Although Korea has not followed China’s recent move to tentatively declare dogs and cats as companion animals ( so no longer livestock), there are many bye-laws in place that activists on the ground and internationally push to be enforced.

Here are some of them:

-Unauthorized processing of food waste fed to dogs in the meat trade breaks the Wastes Control Act, Article 15-2, Article 25, Section 3. Suppliers of food waste and transporters of food waste to dog meat farms are violating this regulation.

-Food waste fed to dogs in the dog meat trade is a violation of the Control of Livestock and Fish Feed Act, Article 14, Section 1 & 2. Traditionally restaurant owners including on the idyllic Jeju island collected and fed rotting waste and fed it to dogs in cramped conditions on farms.

– Dog Waste from farms has now been proven to cause environmental damage – Act on the Management and Use of Livestock Excreta Article 11. 

-The Act of the slaughtering of dogs for human consumption is a violation of the Animal Protection Act Article 8, Section 1, Clause 4. The Act of the slaughtering of a dog, without a justifiable ground – such as out of necessity for veterinary treatment, or in circumstances of immediate threat, harm or damage to human life or property, is a violation.

Our charity objects (S5) were drafted to end the violent way dogs and cats are slaughtered, and in Korea, we can rely on the Animal Protection Act, Article 8, Section 1, Clause 1 which states to inflict injury or death to any animal by the following means: battery by tools, exposure to drugs, exposure to extreme heat or fire, electrocution and drowning is subject to legal punishment. Every time a butcher violently kills a dog or cat breaks this law.

We have also long advocated closure of illegal slaughterhouse. Under the Livestock Products Sanitary Control Act, Article 7 Section 1 it states that dogs are officially recognized and classified as “animals” that are “prohibited from being slaughtered and distributed as food for human consumption”.Therefore, those vendors operating dog slaughterhouses are operating outside of the parameters of the law and break the law.

Coronavirus: Other strains of coronavirus have long been prevalent amongst dogs rescued from markets in South Korea.

The Food Sanitation Act, Article 4, 5. Violation of laws banning the sale of harmful food due to the contamination from the unsanitary and illegal slaughter of the animal and display of the dog carcass. Displaying and selling dog carcasses in traditional outdoor markets is a violation of the law.

This even applies for dog soup restaurants are prohibited from selling dog meat soup made from dog carcasses from an unknown source. It is a violation of Food Sanitation Act Article 44 Section 1 Clause 1

So why aren’t these laws enforced? This is a question activists continue to raise to embassies and government officials, and right now in South Korea, there is a mass e-petition campaign.

Three days ago, Korean Charity Kara organized a drive through protest, and the reaction was positive.

We will support their and all animal lovers actions by taking to the streets on July 23 2-5 pm at the South Korean Embassy London followed by a walk to House of Parliament before they break for summer recess. Join Us

Other actions you can take:

Sign our pledge to the United Nations : https://www.notodogmeat.com/pledge.php

Buy a car/ window sticker ( we have two versions available) to push our campaign forward and declare dogs and cats are friends not food.

Follow us on social media


Donate to fund our work internationally

If you can speak out this summer and need a letter to send to the Korean Embassy

email us: campaign@notodogmeat.com

Download resources to print banners and flyers



By NoToDogMeat

Official Blog of the Campaign NoToDogMeat No to Dog Meat

6 thoughts on ““Days of Bok” – BOKNAL-Is Korea Changing?”

  2. In Nagaland, India, the same practices are going on. Dogs are illegally imported from the neighborhood states. Dog meat is openly served in several food-shed.
    It should be stopped.

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