In South Korea, the home of global companies such as Hyundai/Kia, Samsung, LG, Daewoo, SK, POSCO,... (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2012/countries/SouthKorea.html), 2 million dogs are tortured and slaughtered every year because of the greed of dog eaters and the dog meat industry. And one of the largest markets in South Korea that sells dogs dead and alive for meat is the infamous "Gyeongdong Market" in Seoul Metropolitan City(http://english.seoul.go.kr/?SSid=101_01). If you have ever wondered what a hell would be like, just take a visit or watch the videos on Gyeongdong Market (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tplMHTQjzpU). This place is a "Hell on Earth" with innocent man's best friends in cages after cages waiting for the heartless customers to order them to be slaughtered on the spot by electrocution, hanging, beating,...and thrown into boiling water sometimes while they are still alive. Dogs are being killed in full view of other dogs terrified in cages, in public and in broad daylight. Thousands of dogs tortured all their lives in unimaginable misery and agony in dog farms around the country meet their tragic ends at this market. Also, many abandoned former pets end up in this market as meat giving shame to the human race. Based on a recent news article (South Korea’s dog meat clash http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/542514.html, 도살장 뜰장에 개들이 구겨넣어지는 까닭은? 전국 식용견 500만마리? 문화상대주의에 도전하는 생명권 http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/society/environment/542500.html), there are 8 slaughterhouses around Cheongnyangri residential area near Gyeongdong market alone. Seoul Metropolitan City is indeed a "Heartless, Lawless World(무법천지 無法天地)"!
What is shocking is that all these unspeakable cruelties are illegal, even by the South Korea's weak Animal Protection Law and various other laws governing their country. Yet why are the laws consistently flouted? Shameful indifference by the Seoul Metropolitan City, the South Korean government and the majority of their citizens who do not care about these animals or indeed any livestock (having buried alive over 8 million creatures in 2011 during the Foot and Mouth Crisis (http://youtu.be/W62g6L9bHfQ). That is the reason why this illegal and gruesome industry is still thriving in this otherwise modern and industrialized nation. That and greed, not cultural difference or historical reasons. Brave and dedicated animal rights activists in South Korea have been campaigning to ban this illicit industry for many years without much success because they are a small minority compared to the total population.
Seoul Metropolitan City Official Announcement No.94 (2/21/1984) bans the sale of dog meat as "repugnant food" but there is absolutely no enforcement (http://koreandogs.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/%EC%84%9C%EC%9A%B8%ED%8A%B9%EB%B3%84%EC%8B%9C-%EA%B3%A0%EC%8B%9C-%EC%A0%9C94%ED%98%B8-Seoul-Metropolitan-City-Official-Announcement-No.94.png).
Article 2, Item 1 of Korea's Livestock Product Sanitary Control Act which governs the raising, slaughter and disposal of livestock and the processing, distribution and inspection of livestock products, does not categorize dogs as a livestock that can be processed as food which makes dog meat technically illegal.
According to the Livestock Safety Management Act, slaughterhouses must slaughter animals they are registered to handle. And these slaughterhouses are not registered to slaughter dogs because dogs are not subject to slaughter under this law.
Next, below are just few of many violations of Animal Protection Law by the dog slaughterhouses in Gyeongdong Market and many other markets that sells dog meat around the country in South Korea:
ARTICLE 3. BASIC PRINCIPLE OF ANIMAL PROTECTION
In keeping, caring and protecting animals, everyone should recognize the following:
2. Animals should be free from the hunger and thirst.
5. Animals should be free from fear and stress.
ARTICLE 8. PROHIBITION OF ANIMAL ABUSE
① No one shall commit the following acts toward animals:
1. Act of killing by brutal methods, such as hanging
2. Act of Killing in public or in another animal’s presence
③ No one shall commit the following acts toward abandoned or abused animals:
1. Act of capture and sell or kill.
2. Act of trade or purchase knowing that the animals are abandoned or abused.
ARTICLE 9. ANIMAL TRANSPORTATION
① Anyone transporting an animal that has been selected by decree from the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries must make an effort to abide by the following:
1. Ensure that the animals are properly fed, watered and drive carefully so that animals are not shocked or harmed from sudden departures or stops.
2. The vehicle used for transportation must be built to prevent any harm during transportation and to minimize any pain due to poor ventilation or sudden changes in temperature, etc.
4. Avoid any possible injuries while moving an animal and minimize any pain or discomfort, such as sudden changes in body temperature or difficulty in breathing.
ARTICLE 46. PUNISHMENT
① Anyone who violates Article 8, Clause 1 through 3 shall be punished with up to one year in prison or a maximum fine of 10 million Korean won ($7,000 USD).
Also, routinely water is injected into the dog's blood vessels using a high pressure water hose to inflate their weight. See the photos: http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=412&aid=0000000171
Evidence of violations are overwhelming and clearly documented. Below are few of many videos available that proves these violations:
Korean Dog Meat - Former Pets 3 http://youtu.be/_JPYK3yTqWY
Korean Dog Meat - Former Pets 4 http://youtu.be/hXe3GV0GOB4
Cruelty during transport http://youtu.be/MJ1Z4ZT1Sv8
South Korea's Cruel and Gruesome Dog Meat Industry - "Two faces of Traditional Markets" http://youtu.be/LHn8IDRdprE
S. Korea's Dog Meat Trade: Eating sick dogs and former pet dogs http://youtu.be/A3WNJFd1Cl0
In addition, according to the Ministry of Environment's "Conservation of Water Quality and Ecosystem Law" Article 15 Clause 1 Item 2 and Article 78 Item 3, act of discharging excrements, livestock wastewater, animal carcass, waste materials or sludge into public water is punishable by up to one year in prison or a maximum fine of 10 million Korean won ($7,000 USD).
It's time the Seoul Metropolitan City and the South Korean government stop turning a blind eye on this illegal and cruel industry and enforce their law. It's time they stop making excuses about "Legal Blind Spot" and pointing fingers at each other for the problem. It's time they enact and enforce a clear law to ban this brutal killing and abuse once and for all.
In Korean adage, "So Tam Dae Shil (소탐대실 小貪大失 )" means you can suffer a big loss in going after a small gain. We urge Seoul Metropolitan City and the South Korea to realize that there is much bigger loss at stake while they are insisting on a small gain of another choice of meat. It is time that South Korea show the world that they are not devoid of compassion and conscience and that they take their Animal Protection Law seriously. We, the people of the world, will boycott all South Korean products and tourism until this shameful atrocity of dog meat trade finally comes to an end.
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