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 are tortured and brutally killed for the dog meat trade.
2. Sanitary Control of Livestock 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 for meat to be sold at 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 Livestock Industry Act: This outdated act still recognizes dogs as “livestock” and is the root cause of the legal contradiction.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 only to be 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.
2019 Bok Nal Protest
Banners urging the S. Korean National Assembly to pass MP Pyo Chang-won’s proposed amendment to the Animal Protection Act, which would outlaw the slaughter of dogs for meat across the country, are now up as LCA and ALW prepare to protest Bok Nal on July 12, 2019 — the first of three nonconsecutive days that are known for being the hottest days of the year when the consumption of dog meat soup (known as “boshingtang”) rises exponentially to combat the extreme heat and humidity.
LCA and ALW’s “Stop the Villain Truck” Campaign
Filled with fake, stuffed dogs to resemble the real trucks used to transport dogs from farms to slaughterhouses — LCA and ALW’s “Stop the Villain Truck” is raising awareness for the barbaric slaughter of dogs in S. Korea’s dog meat trade.
The campaign is also urging S. Korean MPs to review and pass MP Pyo Chang-won’s proposed amendment to the Animal Protection Act to ban the slaughter of dogs and cats for meat during the National Assembly’s 2019 session — which commenced on March 7.
To garner support for MP Pyo’s proposed amendment, the “villain truck” gathered S. Korean citizens’ messages in Hongdae Station demanding its passage. LCA and ALW hand-delivered the messages to the National Assembly’s Agriculture, Food, Rural Affairs, Oceans & Fisheries Committee.
On Nov. 22, 2018, LCA and ALW launched a beam projection onto the National Assembly building to raise awareness for the cruel dog meat industry as S. Korean MPs met to discuss MP Chang-won’s proposed amendment to the Animal Protection Act.
Flower Dog Project
LCA and ALW launched the Flower Dog Project, a mobile art installation of 8 dogs, during the PyeongChang Olympics to bring awareness of the dog meat trade to the Korean public and international tourists.
From September 27 to October 2, 2018, the Flower Dogs were on display in the main lobby of S. Korea’s National Assembly as MPs convened to discuss and vote on three important bills aimed at ending the current legal basis for the dog meat trade in the country.
During the meeting, MPs Han Jeoung-ae, Lee Sang-don, and Pyo Chang-won (along with LCA and ALW) called on other MPs to put a stop to the cruel dog meat trade by voting in favor of their proposed amendments to the Wastes Control Act, the Livestock Act, and the Animal Protect Act — which would ban feeding dogs with food waste, unify the legal status of dogs in S. Korea by removing them from the livestock list, and outlaw the slaughter of dogs for meat, respectively.
2018 was the year of the Golden Dog, and each Flower Dog was given a special name to serve as a visual representation of the dogs suffering in the dog meat industry.
The 8 Flower Dogs include: Spring to represent fresh, cool water; Field to give hope that one day caged dogs will run free; White to represent snow to be played in, not to cause death in freezing temperatures; Breeze to represent fresh air instead of the rancid, toxic air at the dog farms; Goldie to represent the Year of the Golden Dog; Iron to break the cages dogs are locked in; Taeguk (name of the Korean national flag) to represent the power of the Korean people supporting ban on dog meat; Flame to give warmth to the dogs suffering in the extreme cold.
LCA and ALW held three demonstrations simultaneously on Bok Nal on July 17, 2018, in Los Angeles, California, Washington D.C., and Seoul, South Korea to protest the S. Korean dog meat trade.
The protests were solemn and respectful with thousands of participants worldwide. In LA, the protest was held at the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea, and in DC, the protest was at the Embassy of South Korea. The Seoul protest was held in Gwanghwamun Plaza and included a funeral march to The Blue House (the executive office and official residence of the S. Korean head of state). In Seoul and LA, activists held the bodies of deceased dogs to symbolize the victims of the dog meat trade.
Two important petitions awaiting responses from the S. Korean government. (The goal of 200,000 signatures was reached!)
1. Ban the slaughter of dogs for meat under S. Korea’s Animal Protection Act: Proposed on 6/20/18, by MP 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, which 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
2. Remove dogs from S. Korea’s Livestock Industry Act: Proposed on 5/15/18, by MP 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 – Ban the Brutal Slaughter of Dogs and Cats for Meat!
Head of Agriculture, Food, Rural Affairs, Oceans & Fisheries Committee Hwang Ju-hong
1, Uisadang-daero, Yeongdeungpo-gu
Seoul, Republic of Korea 07233
I respectfully urge the Agriculture, Food, Rural Affairs, Oceans & Fisheries Committee of the S. Korean National Assembly to listen to its dedicated citizens’ and activists’ calls to pass MP Pyo Chang-won’s proposed amendment to the Animal Protection Act, which would prohibit the slaughter of dogs and cats for meat.
This year, two surveys (commissioned by LCA and ALW) have shown an 81.2% reduction in dog meat consumption among S. Koreans – with 46% of S. Koreans stating they disagree with dog meat consumption. Furthermore, 44.2% of S. Koreans agree with legally banning the slaughter of dogs and cats for meat.
The growing shift in the public’s perception of the dog meat trade in S. Korea is clearly apparent. Please pass MP Chang-won’s proposed amendment to the Animal Protection Act, tabled in the National Assembly on November 19, 2018, which will legally end the country’s outdated and brutal practice and save the lives of millions of dogs and cats.
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
Dogs, not governed by the Sanitary Control of Livestock Products Act as food, are slaughtered anywhere, hidden from public view. The slaughter process is vicious. Dogs are electrocuted, hung and beaten with metal rods, and sometimes even boiled alive, all in front of the eyes of the other caged dogs. Since there is no law governing how dogs are slaughtered for food, none of the above acts are considered criminal and cannot be prosecuted by law.
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.