Royal Canin:Speak out against the dog meat trade operating outside your facility in Korea!

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Royal Canin: it's time to speak out against the cruel, in-humane and torturous practices in the dog meat trade operating right outside your own pet food facility in Gimje, North Jeolla Province, South Korea! 

Whilst we recognize the sizable investment of Royal Canin into the South Korean area of Gimje, which is expected to play an import role in revitalizing the local economy (approx $64 million of direct investment, direct employment of some 60 locals) we remain perplexed at how, a company with the welfare of dogs and cats at its heart, can seek to 'set up shop' in an area with a large dog meat trade operation and dog meat butchery and restaurant scene. 

We feel certain that Royal Canin would have hesitated to form such a relationship with North Jeolla Province had your company known about the abhorrent and cruel practices routinely carried out in the dog and cat meat trades in North Jeolla Province and all over South Korea.  Lucrative, but illegal, unregulated (without even the most basic of welfare standards) cruel and unsanitary trade which carries on unchallenged: with no enforcement of the laws and no punishment for those violating them.

How can your company and brand preserve its credibility and goodwill for caring for our closest companions, when just down the road, dog meat farms operate with dogs crammed into tiny metal cages, no sanitation, prevalent sickness and starvation, rotten waste as food (no Royal Canin for them!) and no water. Often, the corpses of their dead companions are left in the cage as food.  This is battery farming in its most extreme.  These dogs see no human kindness, standing on the wire rim of their cages looking out onto the rows and rows of others condemned to the same fate.   The dogs are then slaughtered in the most cruel ways in the mistaken belief that this will make their meat 'tastier', 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 often 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. Even livestock have the most basic of rights.  But our closest companions, our intelligent and loyal friends treated in such a way?!  How can your iconic brand bridge the gap here between everything you stand for and what is going on outside your factory doors?

In South Korea  shockingly an estimated 2.5 million dogs are tortured and slaughtered every year; 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.

Please watch this undercover video by animal rights activists in South Korea:

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 a powerful dog friendly brand such as Royal Canin to take a stand against the dog meat industry taking place in North Jeolla Province and across Korea.  Your voice would be a powerful one to add to the many whom have already spoken out against the industry.  Therefore, we urge you to take action, to show your brand is on the side of these dogs suffering right now and to state that Royal Canin is officially opposed to the dog meat industry in Korea and demand 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):

We believe these demands are in line with the spirit and goals of the Royal Canin brand, goodwill and global reputation.

International coverage of the brutal dog and cat meat trade in South Korea has stained many Korean companies and cities as well as South Korea’s image.  Don’t let it also tarnish your iconic brand or dissolution your core customer base! The time to end this tragedy is now.  The favor of your reply is requested. Will you speak out for the dogs?