South Korea shuts down the biggest dog meat market of the country

La città di Seongnam ha deciso di vietare la macellazione di cani a scopo alimentare. Questo storico provvedimento potrebbe essere di esempio per l’intera nazione.

In Asia dogs are part of the traditional cuisine, rather than being seen as humans’ best friends. Despite we consider it a taboo – but we eat other animal species without questioning it – the practice is rooted in many Asian countries, with up to 30 million dogs slaughtered each year. Dating back to 550 D.C., however, the practice is losing ground as an increasing number of people think it’s outdated and barbaric, also by virtue of a major diffusion of dogs as pets.

south korea dog meat consumption
Up to 30 million dogs are slaughtered every year in Asia for meat consumption. Western countries consider the practice outdated and barbaric, but eat farm animals without questioning it for a different perception © ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

A Korean city banned dog slaughtering

This trend has been confirmed by the news of a dog slaughtering ban introduced by the South Korean city of Seongnam, which is home to the Moran market – the largest dog meat market in the country.

Setting an example for the entire country

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, City mayor Lee Jae-myung said: “Seongnam city will take the initiative to transform South Korea’s image since the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

dog meat
Asia an increasing number of people refuse to eat dog and cat meat, as they see them as pets © Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

An agreement between authorities and sellers

The Moran market supplied one third of all dog meat consumed in the country, with 80,000 dogs sold dead or alive each year. On 13 December, local authorities and Moran’s dealers association have subscribed an agreement for closing all facilities used for dog slaughtering. The market’s 22 dog meat dealers will receive a reimbursement to convert their business.

dog saved meat trade
Coconout has been saved from an Asian dog meat market by the association Underdogs Animal Rescue and adopted in the United States © Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The first step towards a historic change

This result was made possible also thanks to Seongman residents, for they were fed up with the markets’ smell, the dogs’ whines and the bad image the market was giving to the city. The news was welcomed positively by environmental associations, which have been fighting against Asian dog meat trade for years, including the Korean Animal Welfare Association. It said, though, that “this is a step in the right direction in our fight to end the horrific dog meat trade. However, we expect the dog butchers to set up their dirty business elsewhere, so In Defense of Animals will remain vigilant and will not rest until we take dog meat off the menu for good.”

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