But this particular piece of real estate in Wonju, South Korea, was also used to provide meat to Asian eaters — dog meat. And this wasn’t the first time that the Human Rescue Alliance has encountered the practice.
According to a post on the nonprofit’s blog, the group had rescued over 750 dogs from South Korean meat farms as far back as 2017. Their efforts to shut down such farms had started in 2015.
The Humane Rescue Alliance isn’t alone in its efforts either. The group has partnered with the Human Society of the United States, becoming part of its Emergency Placement Partner program.
However, cultural headwinds mean that both nonprofits have their work cut out for them. According to National Geographic, dog-meat consumption has a long history in South Korea.
Approximately 2 million pooches die in the nation every year for food, and South Koreans consume 100,000 metric tons of canine meat annually. The Land of Morning Calm has not made the practice illegal.
Jill Robinson of the Animals Asia Foundation said, “While not always legal, the countries that allow it to continue are Indonesia, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Cambodia, Laos, and the Philippines — the latter only for religious festivals.”
However, things may be changing in South Korea. South Korean President Moon Jae-In adopted a dog rescued from a meat farm.
Younger generations don’t particularly prefer the meat, and more households have begun keeping pooches as pets. And while the government hasn’t outlawed the eating of dog meat, it has officially declared it “detestable.”
Interestingly, South Korean animal rights activists don’t often directly attack the eating of dogs. Rather, they focus on the conditions in which the animals are kept.
Often dirty, diseased, and in filthy, dung-encrusted pens, the animals suffer in horrible ways beyond being used for meat. And the Humane Rescue Alliance is thankful it saved at least this most recent dozen from that life.
“Sadly, these dogs started their lives in some of the worst conditions imaginable, and we’re honored to help them begin their new lives here in Washington, DC,” the nonprofit wrote on Facebook. “They are still acclimating and will be available once cleared medically and behaviorally.”
Indeed, adoption is an integral part of the group’s purpose. To learn more about providing a forever home for one of these pups or a needy animal, visit Humane Rescue Alliance’s website.
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