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We're busy working to end the dog-meat trade in South Korea. From filming a documentary in South Korea to installing a water pump to care for rescued pups, here are some DoVE Project updates and news articles so you can stay informed. 

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Seoul Mayor vows to root out dog meat business

February 10, 2019

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon on Saturday pledged to completely eliminate the business of dog meat in South Korea’s capital. 

“Once dog-butchering businesses are completely removed soon, I plan to make a declaration,” he said in a meeting with an audience after watching animated film “The Underdog” at a local cinema. 

Park promised to “put pressure” in various ways to shut down the few remaining dog meat shops in Seoul after watching the Korean film about the journey of abandoned dogs to find their utopia, which was released Jan. 16. 

Seoul previously had many dog farms and dog meat shops -- near Cheongnyang-ni, for example. As of 2017, five dog meat businesses were registered to operate at Gyeongdong Market, one of the country’s largest herbal medicine markets, in the district of Dongdaemun. 

Only three of them reportedly sell dog meat, while the other two slaughter and sell dogs. 

“I thought that it would be important to make the world peaceful, safe and welfare-friendly in the eyes of dogs as everyone is an enemy and everything death (for animals in the film),” the human rights lawyer-turned-mayor said.

In Seoul, the number of homeless pets stood at 8,630 as of 2017. Only 2,114 of them had been reclaimed by their owners and 2,591 were adopted. Some 3,740 died at a shelter or were euthanized after a 10-day notice period. 

A stunning fall from grace for 'animal savior'

January 15, 2019

The leader of one of South Korea's largest animal rights groups is facing a police investigation and lawsuits from donors and her own staff after allegedly secretly exterminating more than 200 dogs and cats she "rescued" in front of cameras.

Park So-youn, the founder and director of Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), was once hailed as an animal savior who devoted her life to saving their lives, especially those abandoned.

The group's no-kill policy, which she announced on Facebook in 2011, touched the hearts of many who share the same philosophy about how animals should be treated. Thanks to that bond of sympathy, CARE collected nearly 2 billion won ($1.8 million) from generous donors last year.

Now everyone who thought they knew her is feeling betrayed because of what she allegedly did when the cameras were off. After media reports of her alleged lies, they realized that all her campaigns might have been nothing but media stunts.

Park is now accused of euthanizing at least 230 of the dogs and cats CARE rescued from "animal abusers" between 2015 and September last year.

Poll shows Koreans evenly divided over legal ban on dog slaughter

November 23, 2018

South Korean adults appear evenly divided over whether to legally ban the slaughter of dogs for meat, according to a poll released Friday.

The survey of 501 Koreans older than 19 by local pollster Realmeter showed that 44.2 percent endorsed the enactment of a new law prohibiting the killing of dogs for meat consumption, whereas 43.7 percent opposed it.

The remaining 12.1 percent said they don't know the issue well, it said.

Among women, 48.6 percent supported a dog slaughter ban, with 36.8 percent against it. By contrast, 50.8 percent of men opposed the ban, with 39.8 percent in favor of it, the poll found.

By ideological propensity, the majority of liberal respondents, 50.6 percent, supported the ban, whereas 51.4 percent of conservatives were against the legal ban. The poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level.

In South Korea, animal rights activists and dog farm owners have fiercely clashed over the legislation against slaughtering dogs for meat consumption. The clash has been rekindled as a lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party recently introduced a bill that would effectively ban killing dogs for meat.

Analysts at Realmeter say there seems to be a gradual change in South Koreans' perception over dog meat, as 51.5 percent opposed the outlawing of dog slaughter, compared with 39.7 percent voicing the opposite view, in a similar poll conducted in June this year.

"The latest poll shows that the perception of animal rights protection for companion animals, like dogs and cats, is gradually expanding in Korean society, though the survey is a little different from the previous ones," an official said. (Yonhap)

South Korea closes biggest dog slaughterhouse complex

November 23, 2018

South Korean officials on Thursday began to dismantle the country's largest canine slaughterhouse complex, as animal rights activists push to end the custom of eating dog meat.

About one million dogs are eaten a year in South Korea, often as a summertime delicacy with the greasy red meat -- invariably boiled for tenderness -- believed to increase energy.

But the tradition has earned criticism abroad and has declined as the nation increasingly embraces the idea of dogs as pets instead of livestock, with eating them now something of a taboo among young South Koreans.

The Taepyeong-dong complex in Seongnam city, south of Seoul, housed at least six dog slaughterhouses that could hold several hundred animals at a time, and was a major source for dog meat restaurants across the country.

It will be cleared over two days and transformed into a public park, Seongnam city officials said.

Slaughterhouse operators reportedly used the site for decades without proper authorisations, and after a years-long legal battle a Seoul court ruled the city council could force out the businesses.

Animal rights campaigners slammed the operators for mistreating dogs and killing them cruelly -- including electrocuting them before butchering them in the sight of other caged dogs.

Activists found electrocution equipment in the complex and a pile of dead dogs abandoned on the floor when they visited the site on Thursday, according to US animal rights group Humane Society International.

"This is a historic moment," Korean Animal Rights Advocates said in a blog post. "It will open the door for more closures of dog meat slaughterhouses across the country, expediting the decline of the overall dog meat industry."

According to a survey last year, 70 percent of South Koreans do not eat dogs, but far fewer -- about 40 percent -- believe the practice should be banned. It also found 65 percent support raising and slaughtering dogs in more humane conditions.

There are currently no laws on how to treat or slaughter canines for meat in South Korea. While farmers have urged Seoul to include dogs under livestock welfare regulations, animal rights groups oppose doing so, seeking complete abolition instead. (AFP)

Prohibition of Dog Slaughter

June 21, 2018

Democratic lawmakers, including a congressman, initiated some amendments to the Animal Protection Act. The draft amendment prohibits arbitrary killing of animals. If the bill is passed, slaughtering dogs for food purposes may be prohibited. 

April 12, 2017

CNN—Beijing. Taiwan has outlawed the consumption of dog and cat meat, as the island's legislature on Tuesday passed a landmark amendment to its animal protection laws, according to island's official Central News Agency (CNA).

April 12, 2017

The Independent. Amendments to animal protection law reveal changing attitudes on the island. Taiwan has become the first country in Asia to ban the consumption of cat and dog meat. People who sell, purchase or eat meat from culled canines and felines will now face hefty fines and potentially even a prison sentence. 

March 12, 2017

NYT—Jakarta. In Indonesia, as in some other countries where dogs are eaten, the industry operates largely in the shadows, and reliable data on consumption is scarce. But restaurant owners, butchers, researchers and animal rights advocates agree that more dogs are being killed and eaten here.

February 28, 2017

The Guardian. The shutters have started coming down at South Korea’s biggest dog meat market as the country seeks to head off international criticism over its practice of killing dogs for human consumption before it hosts the 2018 Winter Olympics. Moran market in Seongnam sells more than 80,000 dogs, dead or alive, every year and accounts for about a third of South Korea’s dog meat consumption, according to local media.

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