ANIMAL WATCH - After many years of effort to end the dog meat trade in South Korea, more than one million dogs are still killed and eaten every year. Prior to their deaths, these dogs endure a lifetime of abuse and are often slaughtered in a completely inhumane and brutal manner. As stated by KoreanDogs.org:
“Dogs suffer their entire lives in filthy, feces encrusted raised wire cages in utter misery only to be slaughtered in the most horrific ways. They are killed by electrocution, hammer strikes to their head and necks, being hung, being beaten to death, having their throats slit, being burned alive with a blowtorch, or thrown into a vat of boiling water while still alive.”
“[D]ogs are killed in full view of other terrified, caged dogs who tremble with terror. These poor dogs are often burned alive in their cages, unable to escape. … Also, people’s beloved pets are often stolen and sold to these businesses, where they meet the same horrific fate. Dogs and puppies who died of diseases are tossed away like garbage, often left in front of cages to rot while the mother dogs watch and cry out in despair for their dead babies.”
On June 28, 2023, a new bill was introduced in the South Korean National Assembly, Bill No. 2122926, to completely ban the breeding, transportation, storage, sale, and slaughter of dogs for consumption. This bill is different from previous attempts to ban dog meat in several respects. It provides for the closure of existing dog meat farms and for subsidies, education, and training to assist dog farmers in transitioning to new occupations and businesses. It sets a specific date of five years for the complete elimination of dog meat and implementation of criminal penalties, but provides incentives to shut down dog meat farms prior to five years.
The provisions of the bill providing for subsidies, vocational education and training, employment information, employment guidance, and job placement for dog meat farm owners who cease operations and seek to change their occupation or find other employment will reduce opposition that existed in earlier efforts to end dog meat. There are also provisions in the bill for protection and management of dogs whose ownership will be relinquished by farm owners, including for involvement of animal welfare organizations in Korea.
The bill requires all levels of government, central and local, to establish necessary measures to eradicate dog meat consumption. Non-governmental organizations and private entities may support the measures of the central and local governments. Known as the Special Act for the Eradication of Dog Meat Consumption, the bill was introduced by Democratic Party Member Han Jeoung-ae and co-sponsored by 11 Assembly Members.
The criminal penalties in the Act will go into effect five years after the effective date. At that time, anyone who slaughters a dog for food purposes shall be punished with imprisonment for up to 3 years or a fine of up to 30 million won ($23,000). A person who raises or breeds dogs for consumption, or transports, stores, or sells dogs for consumption, shall be punished with imprisonment for up to 2 years or a fine of up to 20 million won ($15,500).
Assemblywoman Han said in a press release: “In Korea, dog eating is still practiced because it is a long-standing custom…It is not only clearly illegal under the current law, but also goes against the heightened awareness of our citizens about animals…Considering changing social attitudes and Korea’s status in the international community, dog eating is a custom that should be abolished now.” See https://koreandogs.org/bill-2122926/
This is not yet the law in South Korea. The new bill was just introduced; it still must be passed by a majority of the National Assembly.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Sign KoreanDogs.org’s petition here.
Send an email to members of the National Assembly; instructions for doing so can be found here: https://koreandogs.org/korean-national-assembly/
For more that you can do, please click here.
What does this have to do with Los Angeles? On July 3, 2019, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing dog meat. The resolution supports legislation or administrative action that would request the governments of China, Vietnam, South Korea, Indonesia, and Cambodia to ban the sale of dog meat and enforce their animal cruelty laws.
It is the official position of the City of Los Angeles to oppose the Dog Meat Trade in China, Vietnam, South Korea, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Please see the City Council Resolution which is here: https://koreandogs.org/la-resolution/
The City Council Resolution against dog meat originated as a resolution of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC). Please see the VANC Resolution.
For additional information please see CityWatchLA article: LA Passes Anti-Dog Meat Resolution Saving Millions of Dogs from Brutal Torture and Death.
Congressman Brad Sherman’s statements on the South Korean dog meat trade:
The new South Korean bill recognizes the importance of worldwide opposition to dog meat; the sponsor stated: “[Dog meat] not only goes against global trends but also significantly contradicts the perception of our citizens. Considering the international standing of the Republic of Korea, it can be said that this is a custom that should now be abolished.” Our opposition to dog meat in South Korea makes a difference. Please sign the petition and send an email to National Assembly Members as set forth above.
For anyone who isn’t sure if dog meat should be stopped, here are some undercover videos of dog meat farms and slaughterhouses:
[Editor's Note: WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEOS]
Undercover video of South Korean Dog Meat Industry https://youtu.be/iwQmt7w4jaE
What’s Happening in a Dog Farm in South Korea https://youtu.be/N0dZjTw-gOA
The United States is spending billions of dollars, and our military personnel are putting their lives on the line, to assist our ally South Korea in deterring invasion or nuclear attack from the North. Tens of thousands of Americans died in the Korean War, and tens of thousands were wounded, protecting South Korea. As well as being our best friends and family members, dogs serve in our armed forces and alongside our First Responders. Dogs are instrumental in working with returning Veterans with PTSD and other serious injuries. It is not too much to ask that if South Korea wants the United States to continue to defend it, South Korea conform to standards of civility and decency and stop torturing and killing dogs.
Other information about banning the dog meat trade, including in other countries, can be found here and in the links contained in those articles. You can also sign the petition by In Defense of Animals to stop the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China: https://www.idausa.org/campaign/dog-meat/latest-news/stop-yulin-2023/
Thank you for your support in ending the torture and killing of dogs and cats!
(Jeffrey Mausner (www.mausnerlaw.com/) is on the Executive Committee of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) where he serves as the Liaison to the Los Angeles Animal Services Department; he is 2nd Vice President of the Tarzana Neighborhood Council and Chair of its Animal Welfare Committee; and is a Volunteer at the West Valley Animal Shelter. He was previously a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate and is now a Budget Representative. He is a retired attorney and law school professor and was formerly a Federal Prosecutor for the U.S. Justice Department, where he received numerous awards from the Attorney General of the U.S. Jeff is a Featured Writer for CityWatch . His other articles can be found here. This article is written in his private individual capacity, not on behalf of the Animal Services Department.)