Tue, Apr

SFV Resident Plays Vital Role in South Korea's Ban on Dog Meat Consumption


DOG MEAT BAN - He's unquestionably a real life hero. I'm speaking of Jeff Mausner, the former Department Of Justice Federal Prosecutor, who helped convict mass murdering Nazi war criminals in denaturalization and deportation trials after World War II. However, I know him as the superhero, who just contributed to South Korea’s passage of the Special Bill to end the breeding, slaughter, and consumption of dogs as food. So, the new South Korean National Assembly Law will prevent the torture and murder of hundreds of thousands of dogs in South Korea annually.    

I, myself, knew nothing about China, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nagaland in eastern India, and North Korea also permitting the killing and eating of dogs.  Actually, tens of millions of "man's best friends" are killed worldwide each and every year. But, here in the USA, Jeff Mausner helped lead the movement that resulted in the banning of dog meat in South Korea. 

In 2019, Jeff teamed up with VANC (i.e. the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils) to get the LA City Council and Mayor to declare that it is the Official Position of the City of Los Angeles to oppose dog meat in South Korea and other countries.  See many (most?) Americans do not even realize that anyone would even think of killing a dog for meat, let alone raise them in horrible conditions for that purpose.  (Many of these dogs are tortured prior to their deaths because of the belief that they will taste better if there is adrenaline in their system.)  So, you can imagine what a daunting task it was to get a foreign country to ban the practice. I personally can't imagine how anyone here could possibly help convince South Korean legislators to ban a practice commonplace to so many there. However, with the help of Korean War Veterans, our Valley Congressman Brad Sherman, and celebrities like Katherine Heigl and Priscilla Presley, Jeff did get the South Korean National Assembly to listen.  Jeff produced and directed a video submitted to the Members of the National Assembly, in which these people all requested the legislators to vote in favor of the dog meat ban.  The video can now be seen here

“These Korean War Veterans, Anthony Melecca, Orville McKinney, Eugene Clifford Barker, and other members of the United States military who served in the Korean War, risked their lives to protect the Republic of Korea and the lives of South Koreans.  Many of their friends died to save the country.  In their video statements they sincerely ask the South Korean National Assembly to pass the Special Act to End Dog Meat and stop killing dogs.  I’m very proud to have worked with these heroes and given them a platform to directly express their strong feelings to the South Korean National Assembly,” said Mausner, a retired attorney who produced the video and is a co-founder of the Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition. “These Veterans, who fought for the lives and freedom of South Koreans, who are responsible for the very existence of democracy and the National Assembly itself, deserve to be listened to when they speak of their love for dogs and ask that the torture and killing stop.” 

Mausner said that many Members of the National Assembly viewed the video, or at least knew about it, prior to votes in the Agriculture Committee, Judiciary Committee, and the full Assembly.  The vote by the National Assembly, which took place on January 9, was unanimous to pass the dog meat ban. 

Mausner said that the main impetus to pass the dog meat ban came from South Korean organizations and activists.  However, South Korean Presidents and Legislators have recognized the detrimental effect the dog meat trade has had on South Korea’s international reputation.  Attitudes of Americans toward South Korea are particularly important, because still today, the United States spends billions of dollars, and U.S. soldiers put their lives on the line, to protect South Korea.  So South Korean legislators did listen to what Americans had to say about dog meat.  Mausner said that “organizations right here in California, like In Defense of Animals, which has been working to ban dog meat in South Korea for thirty years, and KoreanDogs.org, which has circulated hundreds of petitions to ban dog meat, have played a very important role.”  Members of the Global Anti-Dog Meat Coalition, who are listed at the end of the video, have also played an important role.  Mausner encouraged everyone to view the video, saying that there is very little graphic material, “it’s not difficult to watch.”  Video: Celebrities & War Veterans Unite to End Dog Meat Trade in South Korea - YouTube

Now, they have finally succeeded, after years of tireless work, to get the entire country of South Korea to ban the torture and killing of dogs for the consumption of dog meat. 

I know that Jeff's not done yet. He has many other places in his sights for this truly noble endeavor. 

(Ken  Ross is a former Burbank dentist and UCLA Dental School Associate Professor. He is Northridge East Neighborhood Council 2nd VP, staff writer for Valley News Group and a contributor to CityWatchLA.com.)