On February 9th 2018 the Winter Olympics will open in PyeongChang, South Korea and run till February 25th. This means thousands of people from all over the word with visit the capital. Despite concerted action of activists participants will not choose animal welfare over sport and boycott this event. Our hope now is by lobbying them athletes who are attending they will speak out against the dog meat trade.
At the previous South Korean Olympics in 1988 the government ordered a temporary closure of restaurants leading people to believe very few people actually eat dog meat. This time however they have not intervened. is not as easy for them to whitewash over the truth since any google search of dog meat and Korea paints a very different story.
There had been a plan by local councils to give grants to restaurants who would remove the word dog meat from restaurant signage as well as images and even though we were told this plan had been pushed back many restaurants have removed the word anyway. This means tourists are likely to choose and eat dog meat without really knowing.
Our activist partners GAON who we worked with to help ban live slaughter of dogs at Moran Market will be holding a protest on February 9th as close to the open ceremony as they can.
We will be holding our own awareness event in Central London on February 10th. For more information on this please follow our social media pages.
GAON ( Dasom) have now taken their work to the field investigating and forcing closure through legal loopholes to dog farms and we continue to support them both financially and also through our network.
In the UK we have a new Minister for Asia, Mark Field, and whilst we were disappointed he was told it is just a few elderly people who still consume dog meat he will continue to push our concerns forward both in Korea and in China on his next official visits.
President Moon Jae-In owns a rescued dog himself and whilst he will not go so far as to say it wrong to eat dog meat he has been advocating more dog socialization parks and encouraging animal welfare provisions to be implemented. In fact animal welfare formed part of his presidential campaign. Having an ‘ official’ dog in his official residence sends out a message that change is needed. Unfortunately though education still needs to happen in Korea so that people recognise there is no distinction between ‘ meat dog’s’ and pets.