In the United States it would be a crime punishable with years of prison time, but in South Korea raising dogs for meat is common practice. Nearly 60 dogs were rescued from a meat farm outside of Seoul, South Korea during the week of March 19, 2015.
Some Korean natives believe that dog meat is beneficial to a person’s health, especially during hot months. It is very common in that country for farms to raise dogs for slaughter. Rescue workers from the International Humane Society say the dogs are raised in cages and sold at markets for hundreds of dollars.
Humane Society International worked closely with the Change for Animals Foundation in South Korea to rescue these dogs. Many animal rights groups in the country have condemned the eating of dog meat as tradition and native culture. They claim that the meat trade is cruel and harmful to the health of humans.
HSI rescued 57 of these dogs from the meat market and shipped them to San Francisco, California where they will be evaluated and treated for any medical conditions at the SPCA there. Once they have a clean bill of health they will be sent to other animal shelters all over northern California to wait for their new homes.
Over half of the dogs rescued were puppies, some as young as two days old. The breeds ranged from poodles and beagles to Jindos, a native Korean breed. Many of these dogs were found on the street, but some had been bred solely for the purpose of slaughter.
Sadly, the dog meat market is a large commercial industry in many Asian countries. That is why HSI is trying to work with dog farmers to close their businesses and allow them to farm other commodities. These dogs came from a farm that has decided to do just that.
The owner of the farm signed a legal contract that guarantees the dog farm will close and the dogs are to be released to the Humane Society. In turn, HSI provides an agreed upon amount of money so the farmer can start over and raise another crop.
In this case, the farmer already had some blueberry bushes and agreed to use the money to expand his blueberry crop. Humane Society International will be watching the farmer to make sure that he is keeping up with his end of the agreement.
According to the Human Society, an estimated 2 million dogs are slaughtered in South Korea every year for meat. They will continue to negotiate with farmers in hopes of one day shutting down the trade completely.