Stop Korea from legalizing dog meat consumption



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Animals in Korea currently are in a horrible situation.  But we find it too difficult for us to protect our suffering furry friends on our own in this country.

 1.  Korea is a country of cruelty to animals.  A large number of people in Korea have no trouble accepting the fact that animals are being taken advantage of and mistreated as long as it is done for human purposes.

The idea of living a well-off life predominates over this nation nowadays, and the reckless experiments done on animals are notorious. For those who have their hearts set on profit oriented greed, improving animals' inferior and ruthless living conditions doesn't concern them a bit. These poor creatures are born and live until they get slaughtered in the same confined filthy places where no living soul can bear to stand even for a single minute. Furthermore, animals living in such condition are vulnerable to various kinds of deadly viruses and diseases.

Korea is now facing the sky rocketing spread of AI virus among poultry brought about by horrific living environments.  And their way of handling this calamity is to bury all those birds in the ground ALIVE.

Animal rights activists had reported the very site to the press to notify the society about this act of brutality but it was never made in to a written article because of one single phone call from the government saying that national interests should be taken into consideration above all.

2.  Korea is a DOG EATING country.  China, Vietnam and Korea are the only three countries left in Asia that allow dogs to be eaten, though consuming dog meat has been somewhat illegal in Korea up till now.  But the Korean government is now trying to pass a bill that would legalize dogs to be a part of livestock. If such a thing comes to reality, no dogs in Korea are guaranteed of their safety or protection and, worst of all, THEIR LIVES!

3. At the same time, there are many people who love our canine friends. The number of people who own dogs (as a pet) is increasing and there are still a great number of people who oppose 'dog meat' in Korea.

However, unfortunately, some Koreans now perceive 'eating dog' as a matter of personal choice and taste. This is due to the Korean government and some media who are knowingly involved in convincing citizens to believe so.

As seen, a tense debate over 'dog meat' is prevailing currently. This debate is further fueled by the Korean government trying to pass a bill to legalize butchering dogs (dog as a livestock) only because it believes that there are people who eat dogs.

The city of Seoul has announced that it will hold a public hearing in May of 2008. It is simply a matter of time before the bill is passed and Korea would be the first and the only nation that legally allows the killing and eating of dogs.

4. For dogs that are eventually killed for consumption, if they even have a life, it is a life of sheer misery. We have found that even lost, abandoned and stolen dogs are sacrificed for meat consumption besides ones from dog farms. Owners of some dog farms have the dog's eardrum ruptured by putting a hot iron into dog's ear. This is done because they don't want the dogs to bark while they are kept in cages. Also, because dogs get extremely stressed in the farm cages, they often get into fight and some dogs are bitten to death. Some people even set the dogs on fire until death!
On the way to market from farm, several dogs are put together into a tiny net. They say this is because they don't want to give enough room for the dogs to fight. When arriving at the market, dogs are again kept in small cages while waiting for a couple of days until 'selected' as meat. They are rarely fed. Dogs see other dogs led away and killed. Dogs' eyes shy away from humans. Dogs try to avoid attention by only showing their back to not to be selected earlier than others. Dogs tremble with fear and their heads are bent down. They are seized with terror but all they can do is wait for death.

5. Demand for 'dog meat' can increase if the bill is passed. Even cosmetics that contain some part of dog were introduced. People might import dogs that were bred in countries such as Vietnam and China for lower prices. This is a possible scenario that can really happen. And there may be more serious problems beyond Korea.

6. But there is hope. With a straight and righteous mind, there is nothing we can not accomplish. Animal cruelty recognizes no boundaries.

Korea is a nation with high self-respect that values its own dignity more than anything else. The Korean government has been manipulating the media and celebrities in our society to sign a %u201Cstatement of non-intervention regarding the dog meat issue. Mass media in Korea hypnotizes the public into believing dog meat is cultural heritage to be proud of.  Let me give you an example:

There is a Korean TV program called "Chattering of Beauties" that hosts female foreigners living in Korea. The female foreigners talk about various issues that they encountered in their personal life while in Korea. One of the issues that is discussed frequently is their experience with dog meat. Their response on the tv show is, of course, that they accept and respect dog meat as traditional Korean cuisine, which simply comes out of their respect for the Korean public.

This is one of many examples for how the mass media in Korea spreads and implants the idea of accepting dog meat as Korean pride and tradition into the public's mind.

However, the Korean government is also very afraid of the country's international image being tarnished by legalizing the trade of dog meat. The Korean government is very sensitive to world wide public opinions on the matter of the use of dog meat for human consumption. Protests and campaigns by leading animal protection societies in other countries on the issue of dog meat trade in South Korea are very important in preparing the legislation for the banning of dog meat in Korea. During the Seoul Olympics, the government actually banned dog meat in Korea because of the worldwide opposition on dog meat trade in South Korea. The sole reason and motive for the recent amendment of the Korean Animal Protection Law by the Korean government was to improve Korea's international image. International pressure on the issue of dog meat in Korea would force the Korean government to create enforceable laws that ban butchering dog for human consumption.

Dogs are animals that have been tamed by humans over a long time. Dogs are neither wild animals nor livestock.  We-the human- are responsible for keeping the long-time relationship and friendship with dogs, the only species tamed by humans. Animal related issues recognize no frontier. Everyone all over the world must act now.
Save dogs in Korea. We believe you can.

CARE, Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (
KAAP, Korea Association for Animal Protection (


Developments Update

After two days of protests on March 25 and 26, we, CARE and KAAP, visited Taiwan on April 8 at the invitation of EAST, a Taiwanese group. We had a press conference and managed to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures from the Taiwanese, which were delivered to President Lee Myung-bak and Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon.

On April 15 we met with the manager of food sanitation of Seoul Government. We found that Seoul will be making sanitary inspections in May of some 500 dog meat restaurants. If harmful ingredients to cause food poisoning are found in the inspections, the restaurant will be closed down. Seoul will provide standards for hygiene surveillance. After public hearings, it plans to propose administration legislation to the central government. The manager said, "As long as Koreans eat dog meat, relevant institutions are required."  

Having celebrated Earth Day on April 20, we tried to pitch a tent for sit-up before the city hall. But we failed to pitch it by officials' interruption. We have had relay protests in front of the city hall since

On April 22 we visited the government of GyeongGi-Do on the news that this local government also plans sanitary supervision for dog meat restaurants. If so, it is most likely that the law on livestock slaughtering will be revised to include dogs. 

According to a 2004 report by Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery, it is estimated that some 2 million meat dogs are raised and about the same numbers are slaughtered every year for consumption in Korea. Another survey shows about 20 thousand meat dogs are traded a day across Korea.

Whenever bird flu breaks out in Korea, a great number of chickens, ducks and pigs are buried alive. We are worried if dogs are classified as livestock, those in bird flu outbreak areas should be buried alive as well.

We would like to ask you to distribute this message to your subscribers and other animal protection groups. We also would like you to send protest e-mails at the following addresses.

1.The City of Seoul


 Mayor of Seoul Mr. Oh Se-hoon


2. Korean President Mr. Lee Myung-bak


3. The Provincial Governor of Kyungki-do  Kim, Moon-soo


Dear Mayor Oh Se-hoon, President Lee Myung-Bak,

I recently heard that on March 24th this year, the Municipality of Seoul released the Dog Meat Hygiene Management Policy, a document that lists dogs as livestock. It plans to recommend amendments of the national law on Livestock Products Processing to incorporate this listing. Korean animal protection groups gathered in front of Seoul City Hall on March 25th and 26th to protest this decision.

Korea's hi-tech and electronic products are sold throughout the world, and the so-called "Korean Wave", which includes the entertainment, food and tourism industries, has also greatly increased the interest of people all across Asia in Korea. If dogs are listed as livestock for human consumption under the Korean national legislation, this would make Korea the first country in the world to legalise dog meat, and would also make Korea President the first national leader in the world to permit dogs to be used as food for human consumption. We are afraid that such a decision would not only be a step backward in the development of civilisation, but would also damage you and your country's international image and reputation, with a direct economic impact on Korean products and services.

Dogs are simply dogs, and they should not be divided into pet dogs and edible dogs. Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand have all already legally banned the consumption of dog meat. Although there are still a few countries and people in Asia who consume dog meat, their living standards are, on average, far lower than those of Korea, and until now there has never been a country which has, through national law, legalised the act of eating dog meat!

In the last 20 or 30 years, anthrozoology has gradually brought about a consensus: companion animals bring psychological and physical benefits to humans. They can give humans intimacy and support, alleviate the negative health impacts of stress, and also provide protection against some illnesses. Modern day criminal sociology is also drawing the conclusion that there is a high degree of correlation between cruelty to animals and domestic violence and child abuse. Once dogs become animals that can be freely butchered for human consumption, there will likely be negative social and educational impacts on the psychology of the Korean public.

In order to create a more humane society, and for the sake of the development of human civilisation, we, as co-citizens of this planet, with all sincerity urge your government to prevent the legalisation of dog eating in your national laws and to prohibit the consumption of dog meat as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

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