The Daily Mail is reporting that Seoul, South Korea is planning to shut down all of its infamous dog slaughterhouses.
The announcement reportedly came after Mayor Park Won-soon watched an animated film, Underdog, about the many abandoned dogs on the streets in Seoul. Also, the country is facing opposition from people worldwide about the dog meat trade.
Each year, 8,500 dogs are abandoned in Seoul alone, and 25 percent of those are euthanized.
The movie Underdog was released last year. It chronicles the story of dogs who have been abandoned in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.
The mayor further said that he wants to work to:
“[…] find a way to raise the adoption rate for stray dogs”
He added this:
“I heard there are wild dogs on Mount Bukhan. I feel responsible for them, and this was a burden while watching the film.”
Park used to work as a human rights lawyer and he visited the theater and viewed the film to try to raise awareness of animal rights.
“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.”
Last year a South Korean court ruled that killing dogs for meat is illegal. It’s controversial because dog meat has been a part of Korean cuisine for a long time. A million dogs are eaten every year. People traditionally eat dog in the summertime because it’s believed to increase energy.
However, it’s becoming more taboo to eat dogs with the younger generation. A 2017 study found that 70 percent of South Koreans don’t eat dogs.
Mayor Park is committed to eliminating the practice.
“In the past, we had several dog butcher shops in Cheongnyangni, but I closed almost all of them down through various measures.
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.”
In our culture, it’s hard to understand why someone would want to eat “man’s best friend.” Hopefully, the mayor will be successful in his attempts to improve the condition of dogs in South Korea.