Yesterday, officials in South Korea banned the slaughter and butchering of dogs in the country’s largest dog meat market.
Animal rights activists have reason to celebrate, as yesterday, officials in South Korea banned the slaughter and butchering of dogs in the country’s largest dog meat market. The Korea Herald reports that the decision was made by the Seongnam City Government and the vendors’ association of Moran Market, which represents 22 dog meat dealers.
Reportedly, slaughter facilities for canines and cages will begin to be removed starting next week. By early May, all evidence of the dog meat market will be erased. To help the dog meat vendors find different lines of work, the city will provide financial support to refurbish their shops and to help them invest in new businesses.
“Seongnam City will take the initiative to transform South Korea’s image since ‘the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’”
BBC notes that animal rights activists are concerned that the change may not be fully implemented. Said Hang In-young, an official of the Korean Animal Welfare Association:
“Seongnam city took a big step toward changing the dog meat industry here. But we will have to constantly monitor dog meat shops in the market (to see) if they really stop slaughtering dogs and change their business (after the agreement). The city government will also need to keep pushing the idea to ultimately ban the sales of dog meat here.”
Activists are largely responsible for prompting the change, as animal rights advocates have long campaigned against the Moran Market which supplies one-third of the dog meat which is consumed in South Korea. Locals, as well, complained that the sight of dogs being slaughtered on the spot (oftentimes using brutal methods) is inhumane.
Every year, the market sees 80,000 dogs sold either dead or alive. Live dogs are kept in cages for customers to choose. Then, they are killed on site. With this new initiative, the reputation of Moran Market is believed to improve.
“This may be the beginning of (a long path toward) solving issues surrounding dog meat consumption. (The agreement) will hopefully eradicate the negative image of Moran Market,” Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung told a press conference.
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