On March 31st, 2019, CARE held their Annual General Meeting at the CARE Head Office in Jongno-gu, Seoul. 25 regular members were present. Executive Director Kyung-eun Kim had 134 votes delegated to her, and Member Lee Ji-soo had 25 votes delegated to her, for a total of 159 votes. Director Yong-ho Kim, who acted as the chairperson, announced that the requirements for the general meeting were met.
2018 Business and Financial Report
During 2018, CARE continued to rescue abused, abandoned and neglected animals, with a specific focus on dogs incarcerated in dog meat farms. We rescued 250 animals from Namyang-ju dog farm and shut the place down. We shut down Gonjiam’s Dog Breeding facility and took care of the dogs liberated from there.
We rescued and adopted out 200 dogs from the hellish situation in Hanam City and reported the animal abuse to the authorities. We rescued 42 cats from a hoarder in Busan, 10 neglected rabbits from an experimental laboratory, a dog that was abandoned for a month after its whole body had been burned after a fire at a dog farm in Ulsan, and took care of over 1,000 other animals.
We collaborated with Congressman Chang-won Pyo to draft bills proposing amendments that would make slaughtering dogs for consumption a violation of the Animal Protection Act, with a penalty of 3 million Korean Won and would ban dog and cat consumption. We shut down a slaughterhouse in Taepyeong-dong, campaigned for dog farms to be turned into shelters, started a campaign with LUSH Korea to ban the importation of dog and cat fur. We campaigned to ban the display of animals in exhibitions and installations, to revoke the laws that dogs over 40cm tall should wear muzzles, and the so-called “Pet Paparazzi Law” which compensates people for taking pictures of dogs being walked by their owners without a leash. Up until the end of December, we were visiting congress regularly to lobby for the banning of the 2030 Dog Farm Compensation Plan.
Due to the media’s predominantly biased reporting of the euthanasia incident, 1700 people withdrew their memberships and ceased their donations. However, we received support from overseas organizations and gained 50 new members. This is continuing, a fact which is encouraging.
2018 Business Settlement Account
Regarding the Financial Report, in 2018, CARE used 50% of the total funds; the monthly veterinary fees were 3.4 Million KRW on average. There was an inquiry pertaining to the accounting costs of the euthanasia. Our answer is that the cost of euthanasia and handling of the corpses were dealt with from the animal rescue business expenses, using veterinarian approved methods.
2019 Business Plan and Budget Approval
The two main goals CARE has for 2019 is to bring about an end to the illegal slaughtering of dogs in Korea, and to promote vegetarianism and veganism. We plan to launch campaigns promoting vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. We will increase and improve communications with our members, provide regular volunteer and fostering programs at the shelters, and endeavor to increase adoption, especially overseas.
Amendment of Articles of Association
This item was to address a demand from 34 members for stricter conditions to be applied to Clause C in Section 1 of Article 23, related to the convening of General Meetings. The same demand was made about Clause B in Section 1 of Article 43. Article 45 is usually applied to organizations and corporate bodies with similar objectives, taking into account the strict conditions for dissolution, which requires half of the members to be present and two-thirds of members to concur.
In the following Q&A session, it was suggested that conditions be eased for members to put items on the agenda more easily, and that an electronic voting system be used for the General Meeting to take care of any residual property in the case of the dissolution of the organization, rather than just the Board of Directors voting. Related to the latter suggestion, it was also expressed that it is undesirable for any residual property to go to the local government. Many members were against this as it would mean that the animals under our protection would also belong to the local authorities. There was also concern that there would be additional expenses and issues of management if an electronic voting system were used.
9 members and 25 others with voting rights were against the amendment, however, the remaining members and those with voting rights were in the majority, so the resolution was passed.
Time was also taken to have a discussion with the President, So-yeon Park, and the currently suspended Director of Animal Management, Hee-jin Im, who was the whistleblower for the euthanasia incident. The members got to question them regarding the euthanasia incident and other issues they wanted to know about.
In the future, we plan to have regular meetings with our members and as an organization which rescues the most a animals in South Korea with the consequent pressure on resources and space, we need to discuss difficult subjects–such as euthanasia–with our members.
CARE is currently going through difficult times, but we would like to sincerely thank all our members for their support.