Tell Friendship City, Seoul Gangbuk, Korea, That We’re Opposed to the Consumption of Dogs.
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Mayor Randy Hope of Chatham-Kent: Tell Friendship City, Seoul Gangbuk-gu, South Korea, That We’re Opposed to the Torture and Consumption of Dogs and Cats.
City of Chatham-Kent has become Friendship City with Seoul Gangbuk-gu, South Korea. This relationship was no doubt formed in the spirit of friendship and for your mutual benefit, for business links and trade etc. And, while City of Chatham-Kent would have expected to learn about the differences in cultural practices of the Seoul Gangbuk-gu citizens, we feel certain that the your city would have hesitated to form such a Friendship City relationship had your city known about the aberrant and cruel practices routinely carried out in the dog and cat meat trades in Seoul Gangbuk-gu and all over South Korea. Lucrative, but illegal trades which carry on unchallenged: with no enforcement of the laws and no punishment for those violating them.
South Korea is the home to global companies, such as Hyundai, Kia, Samsung, LG, Daewoo, SK and POSCO, which is why it is so shocking that an estimated 2.5 million dogs are tortured and slaughtered every year within South Korea, because of the greed of dog eaters and the dog meat industry; while the majority of those Koreans, who don’t actually participate in this offensive trade, show a profound indifference by doing nothing at all to stop it.
We know how loyal and faithful our dogs across the world are; and we all ask a lot of them - they serve us in innumerable ways: farm work, war work, police and guard duties, search and rescue, help for the disabled, guiding and guardianship, and, of course, as our loving and trusting companions.
Dogs were first domesticated many thousands of years ago, and so much do they want to be part of our ‘human’ family that they have learned to understand our gestures and our language - the language of another species, which shows remarkable willingness and intelligence.
In Seoul Gangbuk-gu there are countless dog farms, slaughterhouses, markets and restaurants where the dogs, who are tortured their entire lives, end up being slaughtered in the most inhumane ways, such as by electrocution, hanging or beating; and then thrown into boiling water – sometimes while they are still alive. In many places, dogs are being killed in full view of other terrified, caged dogs; and this takes place in public and in broad daylight. In addition, many abandoned and stolen former pets end up in this industry, and are subjected to the same cruelty.
Please watch this undercover video by animal rights activists in South Korea: http://youtu.be/3uR8R8Mu70Q
There are laws in South Korea against selling dogs and cats for human consumption yet these laws are routinely and blatantly ignored.
We believe that there must surely be some social responsibility for the representatives of one city to take a stand against any wrongdoing being sanctioned or ignored by their Friendship City. As such, we ask you to please urge Seoul Gangbuk-gu Mayor Gyum-Soo Park to take action, and to state that Chatham-Kent and its citizens demand that Seoul Gangbuk-gu issue an official document mandating that the following existing Korean laws be enforced by its government officials, police and judges:
Unauthorized processing of food waste fed to dogs in the meat trade is a violation of Wastes Control Act, Article 15-2, Article 25, Section 3. Suppliers of food waste and transporters of food waste to dog meat farms are violating this regulation.
Food waste fed to dogs in the dog meat trade is a violation of Control of Livestock and Fish Feed Act, Article 14, Section 1 & 2. Unauthorized collection of food waste and the act of feeding it to dogs in the meat trade is in violation of this regulation.
Excrement and resulting environmental damage produced as a by-product of the illegal dog meat farm is a violation of Act on the Management and Use of Livestock Excreta Article 11. The excrement produced at dog meat farms causes environmental damage to the immediate and surrounding area.
The act of slaughtering of dogs for human consumption is a violation of Animal Protection Act Article 8, Section 1, Clause 4. The act of slaughtering of a dog, without a justifiable ground – such as out of necessity for veterinary treatment, or in circumstances of immediate threat, harm or damage to human life or property, is a violation.
The slaughter of dogs by electrocution is a violation of Animal Protection Act, Article 8, Section 1, Clause 1. Inflicting injury or death to any animal by the following means: battery by tools, exposure to drugs, exposure to extreme heat or fire, electrocution and drowning is subject to legal punishment. Therefore, the routine slaughter of dogs by butchers and farmers by these methods is in violation of the Act. Further, electrocution as a method of slaughter is internationally recognized as an inherently cruel method of slaughter and banned globally.
Slaughter of dogs from unauthorized slaughterhouse is a violation of Livestock Products Sanitary Control Act, Article 7 Section 1. The Livestock Products Sanitary Control Act, states that dogs are officially recognized and classified as “animals” that are “prohibited from being slaughtered and distributed as food for human consumption”. Therefore, those vendors operating dog slaughterhouses are operating outside of the parameters of the law and in violation of the law.
Slaughter of dogs for his/her own consumption is a violation of Animal Protection Act, Article 10. The intent of the Act is to ensure that no animal is slaughtered in a cruel or revolting manner, and shall be free from unnecessary pain, fear, or stress during the process of slaughter. Therefore, only humane way of slaughtering dogs would be by euthanasia (lethal injection). All currently practiced methods of slaughter by butchers, farmers and traders excludes euthanasia as a method of slaughter, therefore they are all in breach of this Act. This is also a violation of Livestock Products Sanitary Control Act Article 7 Section 1 Clause 2. According to the Livestock Products Sanitary Control Act, slaughter of animals for his/her own consumption is allowed only for the livestock animals that are publically announced as classification of livestock in the Livestock Products Sanitary Control Act and dogs are not classified here.
Display and sale of dog carcass in traditional outdoor markets is a violation of Food Sanitation Act, Article 4, 5. Violation of laws banning sale of harmful food due to the contamination from unsanitary and illegal slaughter of the animal and display of the dog carcass. For example, dog carcass are routinely contaminated by microorganisms that cause human diseases and food poisoning which can lead to serious and life threatening health complications. There are also strict laws which ban the sale of meat from sick animals, due to the fact that there is no quality control or formal monitoring of slaughter practices in the dog meat trade it is very likely that violation of these laws is happening routinely.
Dog meat restaurants’ sale of dog meat soup made with dog carcass from an unknown source is a violation of Food Sanitation Act Article 44 Section 1 Clause 1. Uninspected livestock products must not be transported, stored, displayed, sold or used for manufacturing or processing of food for human consumption.
Please refer to the legal information regarding the dog meat consumption in South Korea published by KARA (Korea Animal Rights Advocates): http://koreandogs.org/kara-publishes-legal-information-booklet-ending-dog-meat-consumption/
We believe these demands are in line with the spirit and goals of Friendship cities to establish friendly communications in the areas of tourism, commerce, cultural exchange and public health.
International coverage of the brutal dog and cat meat trade in South Korea has stained Seoul Gangbuk-gu, South Korea’s image. Don’t let it also tarnish your City’s Friendship city relationship. The time to end this tragedy is now. The favor of your reply is requested.
Photos: The Korea Observer’s documentary “The Dog Meat Professional: South Korea” http://koreandogs.org/dmp/
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