In July 2019, South Korea's largest dog meat market shut down

By Kelli Bender
October 30, 2019 03:30 PM
Jean Chung for HSI

South Korea’s capital city has declared that they are free of dog slaughter, following three dog meat shops ending their on-site dog slaughter operations.

According to Humane Society International (HSI), Seoul’s mayor, Park Won-soon, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government campaigned for over a year to make the city slaughter free and have achieved their goal with the changes in these last three establishments.

HSI, a nonprofit that has been working to end the dog meat trade in South Korea since 2015, sees this initiative as a step in the right direction for South Korea and the country’s future.

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Dog meat consumption in the country has declined rapidly over the past several years, as more citizens, especially those from younger generations, choose to refrain from eating dog meat. A recent survey by Gallup Korea backs up this sentiment, reports HSI, the poll found that 70% of South Koreans surveyed said they will not eat dog meat in future.

“I am so happy to see Seoul’s last remaining dog meat shops end dog slaughter. Although these shops can still sell dog meat, it is nonetheless wonderful to see South Korea take one step further away from this dying industry that most Koreans want nothing to do with. It gives me hope that South Korea’s future is dog meat-free. HSI/Korea will continue working with the government, and supporting farmers who no longer want to work in the dog meat trade, so that one day we will be able to celebrate the closure of South Korea’s final dog slaughterhouse.” Nara Kim, dog meat campaign manager for Humane Society International/Korea, said in a statement.

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Seoul’s announcement comes several months after the shut down of the Gupo dog meat market — South Korea’s largest dog meat market. Along with assisting in the rescue of the more than 80 dogs left in the Gupo market, HSI has also helped shutdown 15 South Korean dog meat farms, offering the farms’ owners a transition into more humane and profitable livelihoods.

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