On February 18th, the National Animal Welfare Election Alliance held a press conference in front of the Democratic Party of Korea headquarters, urging the establishment of animal welfare policies.
With the general election approaching in April, the National Animal Welfare Election Alliance was formed to request a constructive set of animal welfare policies from the South Korean National Assembly candidates. Including us, there are 41 animal protection organizations in the coalition.
Animal Welfare Policies Proposal
The alliance prepared a policy proposal including,
- Banning of dog and cat slaughter
- Removal of dogs from the list of approved livestock in South Korean animal husbandry law
- Prohibition of providing food waste to dog farms
- Interdiction of live burial of impacted livestock during an epidemic, such as avian flu
During the press conference, the proposal was submitted to the Democratic Party of Korea.
Following are the press release and the organizations that participated:
Tue. February 18, 2020 Press Conference in Front of Democratic Party of Korea Headquarters Calling for Animal Welfare Policies Prior to April 15 General Elections
Policy proposal of 35 items including strengthening penalties for animal abuse and prohibition of the following:
- dog and cat slaughter
- providing food waste to dog farms
- confining farm animals in tiny stalls
- mutilation of livestock, such as castration
- pulverization of live male chicks
- live burial of impacted livestock during an epidemic, such as avian flu
- pain level E animal testing
The National Animal Welfare Election Alliance, consisting of around forty South Korean animal rights and protection organizations, held a press conference in front of the Democratic Party of Korea’s headquarters in Yeouido, Seoul, prior to the April 15th National Assembly General Elections. The objective was to submit a written inquiry and a set of 35 items in a proposal for strengthened animal welfare policies to the party headquarters.
Political parties running in the upcoming elections are campaigning for a variety of measures and commitments, but their pledges on animal welfare policies are inadequate if not negligible.
With around 15 million pet owners and around 1 in every 4 households having a pet, pets have become an integral part of the society. These numbers will only keep growing.
Nevertheless, there are countless instances of animal abuse, and 120,000 pets are abandoned on the streets each year. More than half of these abandoned pets are either faced with the tragic fate of euthanasia or perish through painful deaths. Stray cats are unfairly perceived as pests and must endure harsh day-to-day lives on the streets. Moreover, there are approximately 10,000 dog slaughterhouses known to exist in South Korea, where around 1 million dogs are slaughtered each year for their meat. South Korea bears the shameful label as the sole country where dog slaughterhouses freely operate.
During the 19th South Korean presidential elections in 2017, the candidates at the time Jaein Moon, Cheolsoo Ahn, Seungmin Yoo, Sangjung Shim, and others, had pledged to work towards eradicating dog meat in South Korea. However, there hasn’t been any evidence of progress in this.
Additionally, the implementation of factory farming has caused unimaginable pain and nightmarish living conditions for livestock in the confinements of crowded stalls. These animals are treated as factory products, rather than living creatures.
These unsanitary animal prisons become the epicenter of epidemics, such as avian flu, foot-and-mouth disease, African swine flu, etc. In the past ten years, more than 100 million chickens, ducks, and pigs in affected farms have been culled in brutal ways, such as live burial.
In 2019 alone, approximately 3.8 million animals were sacrificed in lab tests in South Korea. Over ⅔ of those animals underwent testing at the highest levels of pain without anesthesia, indicated as pain levels D and E (in a scale running from levels A to E.) A myriad of innocent animals become the helpless “Maruta” (the codename for human experiment subjects used by the Imperial Japanese Army’s Unit 731, a biological and chemical warfare research and development unit during the Second Sino-Japanese War of WWII) of lethal experiments.
In the past 5 years, there has been a 70% increase in animal experimentations in South Korea. But though South Korea has become a hotbed of animal testing, it has failed to institute countermeasures for problems that arise along with the practice.
In March 2017, the Democratic Party of Korea made an agreement with South Korean animal protection groups to “strengthen animal rights policies,” yet these promises remain unfulfilled 3 years later.
The National Animal Welfare Election Alliance would like to highlight again this agreement made by the Democratic Party of Korea. Along with this, we bring forth a proposal for strengthened animal welfare policies consisting of 35 items. We await the Party’s response and request a task force dedicated to creating animal welfare policies be created.
The great modern pacifist Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Often, animals are harshly neglected and abused merely for being the voiceless and the powerless. Animal abuse is one of the deep-rooted evils of society, which must be abolished wholly. It is far past the time that South Korea became a country where animals as well as humans can thrive. With the April 15th general elections just around the corner, we implore the Democratic Party of Korea to establish a set of constructive animal protection and welfare policies.
National Animal Welfare Election Alliance Members
Following is a list of 41 organization names, most of them with no official English names. They’ve been translated to closely-match the Korean names, which are listed right below.
Gaon, Goyang City Kitty Thinking Refuge, Cat-Human Songpa Gangnam Council, Gwangjoo Animal Protection Association With, Gimhae Mixed Pup Republic, Najoo Angel House, Gimhae Abandoned Animal Association (The Gongjon), My Love Abandoned Animal Street Adoption Campaign, Daegu Eight Baby Angels, Eagle House Kids, Dolph & Friends, CARE, Animal Protection Activist Union, Animal Protection Meeting, Advancement for Animals, Mercy for Animals, Animal Liberation Wave, Lotte Castle Kitties, Maroo Pups, With Pets, Busan Dog Cat Slaughter Ban Civilian Coalition, Busan Animal Protection Group, Busan Animal Love Street Cat Protection Society, Busan Abandoned Animal Shelter White Dove, Aniband Rescue, Seodaemun-gu Street Cat Movement (SDM Cat), Voice4Animals, Seongnam Cat Mom Activist, Take a Break Dogs Cats, StormyDreamCo, Yangsan Animal Protection Dandelion, Angel Dogs Band, Art Action Group SKAVANTGARD, Yongin City Cat Mom Cat Daddy Association, Spread the Love Abandoned Animal Shelter, Cat-ch-Dog (Animal Rights Revolution), 15 Million Pet Parent Organization, Pohang Animal Love, White Dog Shelter, Korea Association for Animal Protection (KAAP), Korean Companion Animal Offline Association
가온, 고양시냥이생각쉼터, 고양이집사송파강남협의회, 광주동물보호협회위드, 김해똥강아지공화국, 나주천사의집, 김해유기동물협회 (더공존), 내사랑유기동물거리입양캠페인, 대구여덟아가천사들, 독수리하우스아이들, 돌프와친구들, 동물권단체케어, 동물보호활동가모임, 동물을지키는모임, 동물을위한전진, 동물에게자비를, 동물해방물결, 롯데캐슬냥이들, 마루멍멍이들, 반려동물과함께하개, 부산개고양이도살금지시민연대, 부산동물보호연대, 부산동물사랑길고양이보호연대, 부산유기동물보호소하얀비둘기, 사단법인고유거, 서대문구길고양이동행본부, 생명체학대방지포럼, 성남캣맘활동가, 쉬어가개냥, 스토미드림Co, 양산동물보호민들레, 엔젤독스밴드, 예술행동그룹 SKAVANTGARD (스카방가르드), 용인시캣맘캣대디협의회, 유기동물과함께나누는사랑나눔터, 캣치독, 1500만반려인연대, 포항동물사랑, 하얀강아지보호소, 한국동물보호연합, 한국반려동물오프협회 (가나다순)