South Korean dog farmers have staged a counter-demonstration at an animal rights protest where they ate boiled dog meat in front of horrified activists.
The farmers’ demonstration took place on ‘dog meat day’, outside the South Korean National Assembly where activists were protesting the Korean tradition of eating dog meat, referred to as Gaegogi.
Wearing red bandannas with the slogan ‘Fight. Unity’ on them, the farmers reportedly ate dog meat to taunt the animal cruelty campaigners, the Daily Mail reports.
The animal cruelty campaigners held aloft models of dead dogs and signs reading ‘How many millions have to die before dog meat ends?’ in protest of the ‘legal grey area’ left by the Assembly’s recent dog meat ruling.
Last year the National Assembly voted to ban slaughtering dogs for their meat but they failed to make it illegal to consume dog meat and campaigners claim this loophole has been exploited by dog farmers.
Kim Bassinger made an appearance with the protesters to lend her voice to the cause.
The campaigners want an outright ban on the consumption of dog and cat meat.
It’s believed that around 780,000 to one million dogs are consumed every year in South Korea where boiled dog meat has been a tradition dating back hundreds of years.
Dog meat is typically served in ‘bosintang’, or dog meat soup, and is believed to give people the strength to overcome the heat.
In recent years though the practice has been in decline in the country particularly among the younger generations who are more concerned with animal welfare than their elders.
Despite this, the Korean Animal Rights Advocates (KARA), claims there are still approximately 3,000 dog farms operating across the country and there is reportedly pressure in government to license dog slaughterhouses.
In a Facebook post, KARA wrote:
Although demand for ‘edible’ dog is decreasing, there still are people who think banning by law is too much. And, of course, there are merchants who sell dogs for their living. It is such a sad reality, here in Korea.
Dogs deserve to be rescued, adopted, and loved, while the merchants need help to change careers. The shut down of Gupo ‘edible dog’ market was a successful model both for remaining dogs and the merchants. They all got a second chance to live better.
We are trying our best to close other dog markets and farms, remaining all over Korea. After Gupo, we are fighting to close down Chilseong Market in Daegu – which is one of the big 3 ‘edible dog’ market in Korea, and the only market where actual slaughter is done.
The Gupo dog meat market in Busan was one of the country’s largest markets selling chilled dog meat, as well as live dogs killed to order. It’s closure was considered a huge success for animal rights groups.
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