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Dog farm owners in South Korea, asking for their right to exist, have held a protest aimed at the Korean government, causing controversy among Koreans.
On September 24, about 500 members of the Korean Dog Meat Association gathered in front of the Gwacheon Government Complex and held a protest, urging the Korean government to make its stand official. A collective action by a group of dog farm owners is an unprecedented matter in Korea.
The association insisted that the dog farm owners’ right to exist is threatened because the Korean government has been showing a lukewarm attitude towards dealing with matters related to dog meat, and animal protection groups are maligning them with groundless reasons.
At the protest, some members had their hair shaved in a show of complaint, saying there exists at least 20,000 dog farms with 6 million dogs.
Moon Duk-bong, the head of the association, said during a protest, “If the Korean government makes our association an official organization, it will become easier for us to check our member farms’ sanitary facilities. Our offer has been rejected for four times by the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and that’s why we are gathered here today.”
It was reported that most dog farms in Korea have poor sanitary facilities and cannot meet the standards required by the Korean Ministry of Environment.
He added. “However, we are not trying to ask the Korean government to entirely legalize breeding edible dogs.”
Under Korea’s current law, breeding edible dogs is illegal.
According to Korean newspaper, Hankyoreh Shinmun, Korea’s Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is unwilling to give the Korean Dog Meat Association an official status, due to worries about harsh public criticism.
Meanwhile, Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) showed its support of the decision of Korea’s Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. KARA also announced that if breeding an edible dog is legalized in Korea, it will ultimately threaten public health, with unknown diseases derived from poor dog farms’ sanitary situations, and dog farms should stop abusing dogs as soon as possible. KARA added that the Korean government should take a measure to get rid of breeding edible dogs in Korea step by step.
It is reported that the Korean government has no specific data about how many edible dogs are raised, or what kind of facilities dog farms have. There are no laws that can regulate dog farms or dog meat restaurants, according to KARA’s official statement.
Korean people showed different views regarding this issue.
Fifty-year-old surnamed Hwang said, “Even though it is illegal, edible dogs are still widely consumed by many people. We should take more time to think about how to deal with this issue,” while 21-year-old Shin said, “I heard many dogs are raised and killed in the worst situation. This tragedy has to be stopped as soon as possible.”
Image Courtesy of onbangladesh