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‘No future’ for dog meat trade in South Korea

Issue: 15/05/2020

A South Korean dog meat farmer has given up on the trade and decided to grow vegetables instead because, ‘There is no future in this dog meat industry.’
More than 70 dogs were rescued from his farm by Humane Society International (HSI) after the farmer decided to give up on his trade. Mr Nakseon Kim had been breeding dogs for over 40 years.
With opposition to eating dogs is growing in South Korea and with new regulations and court rulings cracking down on the industry Mr Kim was looking to get out but he had one request – he wanted to save the dogs.
Mr Kim said, ‘It may sound odd but I started dog farming because I like dogs. I’ve never actually been a big fan of dog meat myself. I had a few dogs so I began breeding them and when I had 20 or 30 I started to sell them because I thought it would be good money but it hasn’t really worked out that way. I earn nothing from this dog farm, and pressure from the government is increasing and it’s not a good business at all.’
In November 2018 the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse was closed followed in July 2019 by the closure of the Gupo dog meat market in Busan. The largest dog meat market in Moran has also closed and the mayor of Seoul said the city is, ‘dog slaughter free.’
On his property in Hongseong he bred Japanese Tosas, Korean Jindos, Poodles, Beagles, Siberian Huskies, Golden Retrievers, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas and Boston Terriers for both the dog meat and puppy farming trades.
Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s dog meat campaigner, said, ‘Unfortunately, it is still very common in South Korea to see live puppies for sale in pet shop windows. But what most Koreans will be shocked to learn is that these same puppies could easily have ended up being killed for human consumption instead. Whether they live or die, they are all born in this miserable place, their mothers intensively bred over and over until they are exhausted and eventually sold to slaughterhouses. 
‘I’m so glad that this nightmare has ended for these lovely dogs, but until the government commits to phase out this dreadful industry, the nightmare continues for millions more.  As Koreans we need to be their voice and call for an end to the dog farming and dog meat industries.’
All the dogs will be flown to shelters in Canada and the United States once the travel restrictions are lifted.
Mr. Kim said, ‘It’s too much work and I’ve got too old to be doing this for no profit. I just want to get some rest from all of this now.  ‘I’ve had enough, especially now that I have to pay for dog food since the local school decided to stop giving me free kitchen waste.  I don’t think there are many people in South Korea who are willing to run dog meat farms anymore.  There is no future in this dog meat industry. Once HSI helps me close my dog farm, I think I will start to grow crops instead like lettuce, cabbage, or other greens to sell to restaurants. That’s a business with a future.’
Dog meat consumption has been declining in South Korea and it is either banned or severely restricted in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. 
Recently two Chinese cities, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, banned dog meat consumption and the Chinese government said dogs were now considered to be companions and not livestock.


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