Saved from the dog meat farm

Being Korea’s national dog breed didn’t save countless Jindo dogs from slaughter, but at least for some of them the nightmare is now over. A dog meat farm on South Korea’s Jindo Island has closed its doors after 20 years of breeding and slaughtering dogs for consumptions – including the iconic Jindo.

The farm was closed after the owner, who who also runs a local restaurant where his dogs were on the menu, was found to have breached the Animal Protection Act by killing dogs in front of each other. The discovery came after concerned residents reported hearing “dogs vocalising in terror” on the farm.

After coming to an agreement with Humane Society International/Korea (HSI/Korea) and Korean animal protection group LIFE, the farmer signed a contract to give up dog farming forever and agreed to remove dog meat from the menu at his restaurant.

“It felt especially shocking to see our country’s national dog breed being exploited like this on Jindo Island”

LIFE and HSI/Korea saved all 65 Jindo dogs and puppies found languishing in small, wire battery cages on the farm. A statement reads, “The South Korean government designated the Jindo the country’s 53rd Natural Monument in 1962, nominally affording them protection under the Cultural Heritage Protection Act, meaning the farmer could face additional charges.”

Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s campaign manager, said, “All the dogs on this meat farm are Jindos which is supposed to be Korea’s national dog breed.  But instead, these poor dogs have been locked away in filthy wire cages, fed on restaurant waste, denied even the most basic care and any level of human kindness.

“As a proud Korean I always find it upsetting to see the cruelty of dog meat farms, but it felt especially shocking to see our country’s national dog breed being exploited like this on Jindo Island. I shed tears when I saw the killing area where I know dogs were killed in front of each other. There was a big pile of collars where they were electrocuted.”

The Jindo is Korea’s national dog breed. Image by tae_wook yu on Pixabay

She added, “Thankfully, together with our friends at LIFE, we have been able to get these dogs out of that horrible place and ensure that no animals will ever suffer again in those cages. The authorities will also pursue cruelty charges against the farmer.

“As the Animal Protection Act currently offers little protection for dogs on dog meat farms, it’s encouraging to see law enforcement officials making use of those few regulations at their disposal.

“But in order to fully crack down on this brutal industry, we will continue to campaign for a ban on the breeding, slaughter and sale of dogs for meat.”

“We boast about Jindo dogs being our national dog, but at the same time they are on someone’s dinner table”

While only a small minority of South Koreans consumes dog meat, with more and more dog meat farmers retiring from an industry “without a future”, dog meat farms and vendors are still active in the country.

In-Seob Sim, president of LIFE, said, “I feel anger beyond misery. We boast about Jindo dogs being our national dog, but at the same time they are on someone’s dinner table. This is a direct example of the duality of humans, but also of the contradiction in Korean society.

“Is there really a difference between a treasure Jindo dog and an edible Jindo dog as the dog meat traders encourage us to think? The answer is no. They are both just Jindo dogs, almost perfect pets for companionship with people.”

Main image by HSI/Korea

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