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Seoul Closes All Dog Slaughterhouses in Campaign to Stop Dog Meat Trade

After committing to ending the dog meat trade over a year ago, on October 26, Seoul’s mayor, Park Won-soon, announced the official closure of all canine slaughterhouses in the city. 

The shutdown of the few remaining canine slaughterhouses marked Seoul’s next important step toward becoming a dog-meat free city. UPI reports that Mayor Park spoke about the achievement at an animal rights event on Saturday.

"Through persuasion for many years, we stopped all slaughter in Seoul. We will maintain the city as a slaughter-free place to promote the dignity of animal coexistence" the mayor said. "If slaughter activity occurs in Seoul again, we will use all means to block it."

The South Korean capital's initiative to crack down on dog slaughtering activities has been supported by animal rights groups such as Humane Society International/Korea. The organization’s activists have been working with dog-meat farmers to close farms and rescue dogs from brutal meat plants and slaughterhouses. The animals rights groups’ advocacy, in addition to societal opprobrium and decreasing demand, have driven slaughterhouses to shut down and terminate their on-site killing activities.

Koreans have been eating dogs for a long time, usually as a main ingredient for a spicy dish called bosintang. Despite the long-standing food tradition, Korea’s younger generations have seen a decline in interest in, and acceptance of, the dog meat trade and consumption.

Explaining the growing opposition among youths to dog meat, the director of rescue group People Defending Animals, Lee Kyungnam, told UPI that the recent rise in dog adoptions has significantly changed public attitudes toward dogs. The new relationship with pets and members of the family helps explain the decreasing support for dog eating practice in Seoul.

[Photo via the Independent]

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