Stop Pandemics: Ban the Dog Meat Trade and Live Animal Markets in South Korea

Stop Pandemics: Ban the Dog Meat Trade and Live Animal Markets in South Korea

As COVID-19 continues to spread, severely disrupting communities around the world, more people are learning that slaughtering and eating animals causes many deadly diseases. We must act now to both protect animals from cruelty and to safeguard our own health by calling for an immediate ban on the brutal dog and cat meat trade and live animal markets in South Korea.

South Korea is the only country that still allows dogs to be intensively farmed for human consumption. Shockingly, as many as 2.5 million dogs of all breeds and sizes suffer immensely at the hands of this industry every single year.

They face heartbreaking existences trapped in overcrowded cages on dog meat farms, where they’re often left in unsanitary conditions and denied proper shelter, veterinary care, and access to food and water, before they’re butchered in indescribably cruel ways.

But it’s not just dog meat farms that are a problem — many stolen and abandoned family companions also become victims of this horrific trade, and traders are increasingly sourcing dogs from shelters.

Tragically, any South Korean laws there are to protect these precious dogs are ignored, which has allowed their torture and brutal killing to go largely unchecked. Not only do dogs suffer unimaginably as a result, the dog meat trade is putting human safety at risk as well.

The World Health Organization has linked the dog meat trade to outbreaks of a number of diseases in people, including cholera, trichinellosis and rabies. The unsanitary conditions surrounding the slaughter of dogs and their sale at open-air markets and restaurants also increases the risk of spreading diseases, as does transporting sick dogs.

We've seen the heartbreaking footage of sick animals dumped in ditches and the terrible human health toll of animal-borne diseases like bird flu, swine flu and Mad Cow Disease, which all were spread to humans through the consumption of animals. Now the rapid spread of COVID-19 has been linked to a live animal market in Wuhan, China, where numerous species, including dogs, were being butchered. 

Wuhan quickly banned the trade in live animals at markets, and Shenzhen responded by proposing a ban on eating dogs and cats, with special recognition of them as our companions, and may soon become China’s first city to do so. 

Now it’s time for South Korea, which has also been heavily impacted by COVID-19, to protect both animals from cruelty and its communities from the spread of diseases by doing the same.

What You Can Do

Please join In Defense of Animals and our South Korean rescue partner Jindo Love Rescue in calling on President Moon Jae-in to immediately act to ban the dog meat trade in South Korea.

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