Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon recently shared how the city government will officially shut down all dog butcheries in the capital.
This comes at a time where the nation continues to be on the fence about eliminating the dog meat business for good.
After watching “Underdog,” – the animated film about abandoned dogs that find themselves in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ,) the mayor shared his remarks.
“In the past, we had several dog butcher shops in Cheongnyangni, but I closed almost all of them down through various measures,” Park said. “Currently, one or two dog slaughterhouses remain. I cannot force them to go out of business, so I will put pressure on them to move.”
The main market for trade in the capital, Gyeongdong Market in Jegi-dong, only three of five shops sold dog meat while the other two slaughtered dogs on the premises.
The mayor announced his plan as local animal rights groups battle dog farm owners, who in turn, protest to protect their livelihoods as some Koreans traditionally consume dog meat in the summer season.
Park also brought up the issue of the alarming number of dogs that are being abandoned each year.
“Every year, 8,500 dogs are abandoned in Seoul and a quarter of them are euthanized because they are not adopted. I believe in building a peaceful world that is also a safe place for animals,” Park shared.
The mayor then said he went to view the film to “find a way to raise the adoption rate for stray dogs,” as well as promote a campaign that would encourage people to not abandon animals.
“I heard there are wild dogs on Mount Bukhan. I feel responsible for them, and this was a burden while watching the film,” Park added.
“I published a thesis about animal rights when I was studying in England in 1991. Back then, I was a human rights lawyer and people condemned me for talking about animal rights when human rights are still not guaranteed. However, human rights are guaranteed in a society where animal rights are secured.”
Park’s recent visit to the theater is being viewed as a move to keep animal rights awareness in the spotlight after a recent scandal that alarmed communities.
The chief executive of Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE,) Park So-yeon, was recently found guilty of euthanizing over 200 stray dogs without informing either the organization’s staff or its members.
The chief executive rattled back how she did this in the name of “humanitarian” reasons as most of them were suffering from a deadly illness or had a very low change of being adopted.
Although the staff called for her resignation due to her not seeking consent prior to euthanizing the animals.
Dog meat is considered the fourth most popular meat in South Korea after beef, chicken and pork, according to express.
“While dog is not listed as a livestock, it is not illegal to prepare the meal in restaurants. The dogs bred for consumption have a different name from dogs bred as pets and pet dogs are never eaten.”
It is said that less than a third of Koreans have tried dog meat and fewer consume it regulatory.
This is due to the dish being consumed more often by adults, while the younger generations shun the dish.
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