THE SILENT PROTESTS THAT WERE HEARD AROUND THE WORLD
LCA and S. Korean sister organization, Animal Liberation Wave (ALW), held 3 demonstrations simultaneously on July 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Seoul, South Korea to protest the S. Korean dog meat trade. The protests were held on Bok Nal, the first of 3 nonconsecutive days, known as the hottest days of the Korean summer. Dog meat consumption rises exponentially this time of year in S. Korea as dog meat soup, known as “Boshintang”, is the food of choice to combat the extreme heat and humidity.
All three protests were solemn and respectful with thousands of participants worldwide. In L.A., the protest was held at the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea, and in Washington D.C., the protest was at the Embassy of South Korea. The Seoul protest was held in Gwanghwamun Plaza and included a traditional funeral march to The Blue House (the executive office and official residence of the S. Korean head of state). In Seoul and Los Angeles, activists held the bodies of deceased dogs to symbolize the victims of the dog meat trade.
EVERY YEAR, A MILLION DOGS ARE BRUTALLY SLAUGHTERED IN S. KOREA FOR MEAT WHILE THE GOVERNMENT TURNS A BLIND EYE
LCA has formed a sister organization in S. Korea, Animal Liberation Wave (ALW), with one mission in mind – to end the dog meat trade. Rescuing dogs, one-at-a-time, is not the answer and will not put an end this horrific industry. This can only be accomplished with S. Korean citizens demanding change at the government level. With “boots-on-the-ground” in Korea, LCA and ALW are in a position to affect real change. With a series of strategic events planned, LCA and ALW aim to mobilize S. Koreans in their own country to call for the end of the dog meat trade.
Currently, one out of five S. Koreans (2 million – one-fifth of a ten million population) have dogs as companion animals. Old attitudes are changing; dogs are increasingly being considered as part of the family.
There is a legal contradiction that allows the S. Korean dog meat industry to exist:
1. ANIMAL PROTECTION ACT
Dogs are legally categorized as “companion animals” and must not be killed in a brutal way. Despite this act, a million dogs a year suffer torture and brutally die in the dog meat trade.
2. SANITARY CONTROL OF LIVESTOCK PRODUCTS ACT
Dogs are not to be consumed as “food”. Regardless of this act, there are 3,000 farms that systematically breed, raise and kill a million dogs a year for meat that is sold to markets and restaurants nationwide.
3. LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY ACT
This outdated act still recognizes dogs as “livestock” and is the ROOT CAUSE OF THE LEGAL CONTRADICTION. Because of this act, dogs are bred and raised on dog farms. These dogs live and are killed under horrific conditions.
Consequently, dogs are considered as both “companion” and “livestock” by Korean law; hence the current legal loophole. The government’s negligence is at the core of the dog meat problem.
Demands need to be made of the Korean government to address this long-neglected issue, instead of turning a blind eye to the barbaric dog meat trade.
TWO IMPORTANT PETITIONS AWAITING RESPONSES FROM THE SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT
The goal of 200,000 signatures was reached!
- 1. Ban the slaughter of dogs for meat under South Korea's Animal Protection Act
- 2. Remove dogs from South Korea's Livestock Industry Act
Proposed on June 20, 2018, by S. Korean Member of Parliament Pyo Chang-won, this bill will make it fundamentally illegal to slaughter dogs for meat under S. Korea’s Animal Protection Act. Although dogs are not labeled as food under the Sanitary Control of Livestock Products Act, a million are slaughtered for meat every year. The Animal Protection Act has been largely unsuccessful in protecting dogs since it only prohibits and punishes killing animals “brutally” or “under unjustified reasons”. If passed, MP Pyo’s bill, that prohibits ANY killing of animals unless otherwise stated in other relevant legislation such as Sanitary Control of Livestock Products Act (in which dogs are not included), will be a severe blow to the country’s dog meat trade.
https://www1.president.go.kr/petitions/281200 PETITION CLOSED 7/24/18 — 212,424 signatures
Proposed on May 15, 2018, by S. Korean Member of Parliament Lee Sang-don, this bill seeks to remove dogs from the livestock list. Currently, dogs in S. Korea are considered companion animals, yet they are also defined as livestock according to the Livestock Industry Act. MP Lee’s important bill would eliminate the only present legal basis of dog farms and would unite the legal status of dogs as companion animals. While the bill would not outlaw raising dogs on dog farms, it is a significant step in the right direction, in that it would resolve the contradictory status of dogs in S. Korea as both companion animals (under the Animal Protection Act) and livestock (under the Livestock Industry Act).
https://www1.president.go.kr/petitions/272632 PETITION CLOSED 7/17/2018 — 214,634 SIGNATURES
Petition – Stop the Korean Dog and Cat Meat Trade!
President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in
1 Cheongwadae-ro, Jongno-gu
Seoul, Republic of Korea 03048
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Lee Gae-ho
94, Dasom 2-ro, Government Complex-Sejong
Sejong, Republic of Korea 339-012
I respectfully urge the Korean government and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to listen to its dedicated citizens’ and activists’ call to put an end to the cruel dog and cat meat trade.
It is high time for S. Korea to show the world that it is a progressive nation that can put an end to this outdated and brutal practice. Please remove dogs from the Livestock Industry Act so they are legally defined as companion animals and protected by the Animal Protection Act.
As 2018 is the first year of the golden dog in sixty years, we demand the Korean government to take action and finally answer this long-neglected question – Is dog a friend or food?
Conflicting Legal Status: Are dogs companion animals or food?
Dogs are companion animals under the Animal Protection Act – Article 1 (Purpose): To protect the life, safety, and welfare of animals by stipulating the necessary conditions for proper protection and management of animals, thus preventing abuse. Article 1 further states its purpose is to cultivate respect for the lives of animals. Article 32 (1) (Enforcement Rule) states, in addition to dogs and cats – rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, and hamsters are also protected under this Act as they are reared in homes for companionship.
The Sanitary Control of Livestock Products Act does not govern dogs as food – Article 2 (Definitions) does not include dogs under “livestock” as animals intended for consumption. Yet, the Livestock Industry Act is still recognizing dogs as “livestock” Article 2 Enforcement Rule (Kinds of Livestock): The term “animals prescribed by the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ordinance” in Article 2, Paragraph 1 of the Act shall mean any of the following: 1. mules, donkeys, rabbits, and dogs.
It is through this legal loophole of recognizing dogs as livestock, that dog meat is being produced and distributed.
Industrialized: One and only, S. Korea's dog meat farms
Abusive: Dog farms are a living hell
Public Safety: Environmental and health risks
Disposal of feces and dead animals on dog farms are not handled and treated properly, which poses a threat to public safety and health. Rotting feces most often flow to nearby rivers or underground.
New virus attack
More than 70% of recent major infectious diseases are animal-induced. H3N2 Dog Influenza, which is transmitted easily through the air and direct contact, was first found and identified on a dog farm. Dogs on farms that haven’t been vaccinated are likely to become carriers for new types of viruses after eating food waste or carcasses of dead animals. *Oh, Jinsik (2008). Influenza and Dog. The Journal of Korean Veterinary Medical Association. 44(9) 835-841 Transmission of Avian Influenza Virus to Dogs
Heavy usage of antibiotics
Consuming livestock products high in antibiotics causes humans to become resistant to it, inhibiting effective treatment of diseases when needed. According to the World Health Organization, 1 out of 6 people die because of antibiotic resistance. Dog meat, which is not governed by the Sanitary Control of Livestock Products Act, has been discovered to contain antibiotics and germs, considerably higher than what is normally allowed.