The good news: On December 13, 2016, Seongnam City announced that by the end of February 2017, they will be banning the display of and slaughtering of live dogs at Moran Market, a major dog meat center that butchers around 80,000 dogs annually. Seongnam City will also support dog meat merchants in changing their business with administrative assistance such as low-interest loans. 22 out of 25 business have agreed to change their businesses.
The bad news: This move failed to… reach agreement on shelf sales of dog meat; in other words, it does not prevent the selling of dog meat. Many loopholes exist, such as businesses slaughtering dogs elsewhere and then selling them in a different market. This agreement is improving the image of Seongnam City without actually getting rid of the inhumane practice. The agreement has no lawful coercion as well. The Korean dog meat business and its inhumane living conditions in South Korea will still exist outside of Seongnam. Currently there is no federal regulation of the canine meat market in South Korea as dogs are not included in the “Slaughtering Livestock and Hygiene Law.” The change for Moran Market is an incomplete achievement for CARE and the other animal rights organizations who have tirelessly campaigned and met with merchant guilds and Seongnam city officials to put an end to the dog meat market for over 3 years.
With the upcoming 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, international eyes and pressure are on South Korea again. There’s still another year left until the 2018 Winter Olympics commences, after which international pressure may decrease. Now is the time to pump up efforts to save man’s best friend!