Investigation and Rescue in Cheonan

We received a report about a dog slaughterhouse and dog farm in Cheonan, a city about one and a half hours south of Seoul, at which the owner of the slaughterhouse killed the dogs in an especially brutal way. With one of the boknal days—the three hottest days of the year when dog meat consumption increases—a couple of days away on the 22nd, we went to investigate on the evening of the 20th.

What we encountered when we arrived was horrific even for experienced investigators.

There were broken cages with dogs tied with short leashes exposed to the elements—it’s monsoon season in South Korea, and there have been a couple of days of heavy rain. There were cages on the ground—they are usually raised off the ground—with dogs standing or lying in muddy puddles. In total there were about one hundred dogs on this farm.

However, that wasn’t the worst of it.

This dog farmer slaughtered dogs in a particularly brutal way; they were hung by the neck and blow-torched alive. The slaughtering was done outside in full view of any dogs unfortunate enough to be able to see the area in which it was done.

Even for dog slaughterers, this is an horrific way of killing dogs. Usually, they are stunned with a blow to the head or by electrocution before being slaughtered.

The farmer had been in operation in the same place for about 20 years. The amount of suffering he has caused in that time is unimaginable.

As we arrived, there were two dogs hanging, but one of them had already been burned to death. The other one required CPR before being taken to the vet. 10 minutes later and this dog would have been dead, too.

The rescued dog—who has been named Nova—is recovering well.

We immediately called the police and reported the owner for gross violation of the Animal Protection Act. The other dogs will be removed to a local shelter.

That this dog slaughterhouse and farm has gone unreported for so long is astounding. The fact that it has been reported now is an indication that attitudes towards dog meat and the treatment of animals is changing in South Korea. We need to keep up the pressure, however, to make sure that no more dogs suffer in this manner for dubious health claims and profit.

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