Following the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye in March 2017, The Mayor of Seoul Mr Wonsoon Park has been touring Europe to discuss the role of Citizen Democracy in the political arena. Our CEO Julia De Cadenet met with him two days ago on Monday morning to highlight how animal welfare advocates also have a voice that needs to be heard.
Later in the afternoon we held a small protest outside the Korean Embassy, where the staff were extremely welcoming. They kindly allowed us to present our data (which included details of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and some photos showing the torture of dogs for their meat) inside the embassy. Embassy staff members also came out to talk to us.
For the first time in our 5 years of campaigning they apologised for the suffering of the animals and acknowledged that even though the live slaughter of dogs has ceased at Moran Market, they understand our concerns that there could still be abuse happening at the dog farms.
We all have a long way to go, but today we really felt we were heard and we continue to stand in solidarity with our activist friends DASOM CCSOGAON 통합시민사회단체 가온 (대표 이중호) in Korea.
Join us tomorrow at Kensington High Street Tube for leafleting and fundraising.
This year our team went to Crufts with our wonderful campaign dog Apache. Although we do not believe in buying dogs or cats in light of the fact there are so many homeless dogs in shelters, it was a great opportunity to meet some of the amazing suppliers of ethical products. We now run a partner shelter South of Beijing which is currently home to – at the last count – around 400 dogs and 36 cats and it is a huge task just to feed the dogs each month.
Our plan is to build a medical facility on-site for Mr Zhao set up and runs the shelter. We already have the 150 square metre structure so now we have a ‘wish list’ of items that we need to purchase or have donated to us. We are looking for letter writers who can help us obtain some of these items from their vets or local pet stores. One action you can take is to nominate us for a light therapy machine.
We still hope to meet with the Kennel Club on the global issue of dog breeding and puppy farms.
The Suffering of Abandoned Pedigrees in China
Coincidentally this month just recently nearly a dozen standard poodles were rescued by Mr Zhao complete with their pedigree certificate. They were no longer of use and being sold from the farms to the slaughterhouse. Just look how adorable they are.
We really need your help to cover their care and find them homes please donate urgently or get in touch to adopt.
Some of poodles recently rescued at our Beijing partner shelter.
Our South Korean activist friends at Ccsogaon, formerly known as Dasom are worried. And they have every reason to be. A few weeks back, the butchery facilities at Moran Market in Seongnam City were dismantled along with the dog cages. Many people on social media were very happy and hopeful, assuming that this would mean an end to the sale of dog and cat meat, at least in Seongnam City.
Dog cages being removed from Moran Market.
This has come about due to activists lobbying the Seongnam City government. It was also helped along by regular protesting at the market itself, by Ccsogaon/Dasom, and other brave activist groups. However they are extremely concerned right now, because although the butchery facilities and dogs have gone, the market still continues to sell dog meat. It is now packaged and kept in refrigerators.
The team at Ccsogaon inform us that there are still many dog meat farms in existence, where the meat is being produced and packaged. At the end of last year there was some talk of the South Korean Parliament improving the laws around cruelty towards dogs and cats. These laws, have not come into effect yet, but hopefully will do soon. There was however, never any talk at Parliament on banning the sale or consumption of dog and cat meat.
Activists at Moran Market
At No To Dog Meat, we are against the consumption of dogs and cats and our CEO has been campaigning at the World Animal Health Organization for the last few years, presenting evidence on the human health risks of eating dogs, and urging them to declare dog/cat meat unfit for human consumption.
Around two years ago, after meeting with the Chinese representative of the World Animal Health Organization, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture surprisingly made a statement about dog meat being a risk to human health, though not much has changed in China yet, it is still a step in the right direction. This kind of statement has not yet been made by the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture.
Dogs at Moran Market.
In the meantime, we soldier on, our Charitable Objective number 5 states that we are:
“Campaigning for animal welfare laws to be respected and enforced both on an international and national level for animals in the dog and cat meat trade at all levels, including dog farms, live transport of dogs and cats for slaughter; slaughter house regulations and/or suppression of boiling/skinning and blow torching live dogs and cats in the meat markets.”
We do live in hope, however, that dog and cat meat consumption will be banned in South Korea one day soon, and when the current president, Park Geun-hye steps down early, due to corruption charges, it could be the start. When she was elected a few years back, her main opposition opponent Moon Jae-in, a former leader of Democratic Party of Korea, stated he wanted to ban all dog and cat meat. We live in hope that he, or someone like him will be a kinder future president and make those changes one day.
A farm visited by activists last year.
Right now though, the Ccsogaon activists are fearing the worst – that the dogs in the remote farms are still being tortured to death, and that dog meat will one day be made legal.
Now they tell us their next move is to do an investigation into the slaughter at the dog farms, to gather more evidence to take to the governments and to parliament. We sent them a small donation towards this and they would like to thank our supporters for this. They have informed us the money will be used to pay for transport to the dog farms, which are in remote locations on the outskirts of the cities and that they have several dog farms on their list to go to.
If you would like to donate specifically towards this group’s investigation, please send a small donation via pay pal to firstname.lastname@example.org and put a note in, to tell us it is for the investigation.
Meanwhile we are still lobbying the World Animal Health Organization, asking them to keep raising the human health risks of eating dog meat, and we want to push the Korean Department of Agriculture to declare this fact, in the same way the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture declared it, two years ago.
We have been assisting Mr Zhao at his Beijing Shelter with small regular grants. He has recently gone into debt with the shelter and has had to sell his car and has no money for his dog’s food.
Can you help at all with a one-off or small regular donation?
Figures on our donate page can be changed – to whatever you can afford – even a few dollars or pounds. Thank you and bless your heart for sharing
NoToDogMeat Activism works ! Over the last 4 years activists have really been working together globally to pressurise the South Korean Government to end the dog meat trade. DASAOM/ C-GAON (the Korean activist group we support) have protested relentlessly all summer and winter outside Moran Market and in the streets of Seoul. Progress is being made despite permission being given for more large dog farms to be built.
On Wednesday, January 25th 2017 (today) activists and media will meet Senator Pyo Chang-Wan, Chairman of the Animal Welfare Committee in the National Assembly in South Korea. He will host a conference where he will announce his plans to introduce changes to the current Korean Animal Protection legislation that hopefully will make further steps to end the dog and cat meat trade.
Our own teams will be out in London on Thursday 26th at the Chinese Embassy and BBC tomorrow Jan 26th. https://notodogmeat.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/join-us-chinese-new-year-2017-london/ Join us! #TeamWork #SupportTheSolution