A notorious dog meat market is shutting down in South Korea as part of the crack down on the increasingly unpopular trade.
The Gupo dog meat market in Busan will be closed down next month, after an agreement was reached between local authorities and the market vendors.
Gupo Livestock Market is infamous for being one of the country’s largest markets selling chilled dog meat, as well as live dogs killed to order.
Warning: distressing content
Humane Society International (HSI) are hailing the closure of Gupo as a success, after the local Busan authorities reached an agreement with all 19 dog meat sellers to shut down their businesses.
The closure, which is part of an urban planning project to regenerate the area and turn the market into a public park, is the latest in a series of crack downs by officials on the cruel trade.
Just last year, Seongnam city – also in South Korea – demolished the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse, Taepyeong, and closed down most of the related dog meat vendors.
Nara Kim, a dog meat campaigner for HSI, said:
We very much welcome the agreement reached to close Gupo market, home to one of the largest dog meat markets in South Korea.
The closure plan is the result of months of hard work between the local authorities and the market vendors, and both sides are to be commended for working towards this goal that will not only bring to an end to Gupo’s dog meat era, but will also see the area regenerated with new amenities and businesses for the benefit of the local, modern economy.
HSI has been working with dog meat farmers in South Korea for nearly four years helping them close their flagging businesses as more people in the county turn away from dog meat, so the closure of Gupo’s grimly iconic dog market, which follows the demolition last year of the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse complex, is a sign of more compassionate times.
This is the latest crack down on an increasingly unpopular dog meat trade, and we hope that it inspires further closures in future where dogs also suffer for the meat trade, such as Chilsung market in Daegu.
Approximately 2 million dogs are reared on thousands of dog meat farms across South Korea every year; as well as a life of suffering on these farms, the dogs are subjected to cruel and brutal deaths.
According to HSI, death by electrocution is the most common method, with dogs taking up to five minutes to die – although there have been recorded instances of dogs taking up to 20 minutes to die.
Hanging is also carried out, with dogs being killed in full view of other dogs on the farms.
Although dog meat consumption is declining rapidly in South Korea, particularly among younger generations, the practice remains popular during the summer months.
Neither illegal or legal in the country, the industry remains in legal limbo as many provisions of the Animal Protection Act continue to be breached – such as the ban on killing animals in a brutal way.
Hopefully this move will pave the way for other dog meat markets to be shut down, to put an end to this horrendous practice once and for all.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).