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Of the dogs rescued, 60 were taken from a single dog meat farm, which has since closed down

By Ally Mauch
July 16, 2020 05:10 PM
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South Korea Dog Meat Trade
Credit: Nara Kim/HSI

Rescue groups have brought more than 100 dogs from South Korea’s dog meat trade to the United States to find new homes.

Humane Society International (HSI) has partnered with various animal shelters in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and New York to put the pets up for adoption. The rescues saved the dogs from becoming victims of the dog meat trade, an industry that is becoming increasingly less popular in South Korea due to animal rights concerns.

Of the dogs rescued, 60 were taken from a single dog meat farm in May, which HSI helped to close down following the rescue.

The organization has pioneered a program in South Korea to work "with Korean dog farmers to rescue their dogs and transition the farmers to more humane and profitable livelihoods." The farmers sign a 20-year contract saying that they will not breed dogs and the cages are demolished, according to a release.

"While dog meat is eaten in several countries in Asia, South Korea is the only country that farms dogs for human consumption on a large scale," the release said. "An estimated 2 million dogs a year are reared on thousands of dog meat farms across the country."

It continued, "The conditions on these farms are horrific – most dogs live their entire lives in barren wire cages without adequate shelter or veterinary care until they are brutally slaughtered, usually by electrocution or hanging."

South Korea Dog Meat Trade
Credit: Nara Kim/HSI

The dogs were taken to the U.S. to find new homes because adopting rather than buying dogs is not a widespread practice in South Korea, though pet ownership is on the rise in the country, HSI said.

"Rescuing animals from suffering and neglect is as important as ever," Kitty Block, CEO of HSI, added in the release. "Thanks to the hard work of our staff and partners — both in Korea and the U.S. — these dogs will now have the happy lives they deserve: with families who love them."