65 Jindo Dogs & Puppies Are Rescued After Notorious South Korean Dog Meat Farm Closes For Good

Photos By Humane Society International

A dog meat farm on Jindo Island in South Korea, which for more than 20 years bred and slaughtered the country’s national dog breed for human consumption, has closed its doors for good. The owner of the dog meat farm came to an agreement with Humane Society International/Korea and Korean animal protection group LIFE. 

The organizations saved a total of 65 Jindo dogs and puppies that were found languishing in small, wire battery cages on the farm.

The 66-year-old dog farmer Mr. Kim, who also runs a local restaurant where his dogs were on the menu, was found to have breached the Animal Protection Act by local authorities due to killing dogs in front of each other. Instead of setting up business elsewhere, the farmer signed a contract with LIFE to give up dog meat farming forever, and agreed to remove dog meat from the menu at his restaurant.

The South Korean government designated the Jindo breed as the country’s 53rd Natural Monument in 1962, nominally affording them protection under the Cultural Heritage Protection Act, meaning the farmer could receive additional charges.

“These poor dogs have been locked away in filthy wire cages, fed restaurant waste, and denied even the most basic care and any level of human kindness,” said Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s campaign manager, in a statement.As a proud Korean, I always find it upsetting to see the cruelty of dog meat farms, but it felt especially shocking to witness our country’s national dog breed being exploited like this on Jindo Island. I shed tears at 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.”

According to Kim, 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 is encouraging that law enforcement officials are making use of those few regulations at their disposal.

“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,” stated In-Seob Sim, President of LIFE. “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!”

The rescue follows the close of the Boknal summer season in South Korea which ended on August 10th, a time when dog meat soup or “bosintang” is most often eaten. This is also a time when hundreds of thousands of dogs bred for meat on factory farms across the country are killed. While opinion polls indicate that 84% of Koreans do not eat dog meat, of those Koreans who do eat it, 70% consume it over Boknal. The reason is due to the false belief that dog meat can help relieve the effects of the sweltering summer heat.

Shockingly, it is estimated that one to two million dogs are kept on thousands of dog meat farms across South Korea.

Humane Society International/Korea has rescued more than 2,500 dogs from certain death from 17 dog meat farms, who now live with families in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The 65 Jindos from this latest rescue will now receive emergency veterinary care at a partner shelter in South Korea. Once they are fit to fly, and COVID-19 restrictions allow, HSI will fly the dogs to North America where they will begin their search for adoptive homes.

In recent years, there have been a series of crackdowns by authorities to curb the dog meat industry, including shutting down Taepyeong dog slaughterhouse by the Seongnam City Council in November of 2018. This was followed by the closure of Gupo dog meat market in Busan in July of 2019, and a declaration in October of 2019 by the mayor of Seoul that the capital city is “dog slaughter free.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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