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October 9, 2018

Humane Society International shuts down 13th dog meat farm in South Korea, saving over 200 pups in desperate need of help

HSI/Canada, which assisted in the rescue, applauds Simon Cowell for donating £25,000 ($42K CAD) to help make this operation possible

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Jean Chung/For HSI

  • Jean Chung/For HSI

  • HSI/Canada and HSI

  • Jean Chung/For HSI

  • Jean Chung/For HSI

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MONTREAL–More than 200 dogs and puppies who spent their lives in barren metal cages, many suffering from painful sores, malnourishment and skin diseases, are on their way to emergency shelters around the world as Humane Society International shuts down its 13th dog meat farm to date.

The cages will be destroyed and the dogs flown to Canada, the U.K, United States and the Netherlands to find forever homes. Over 90 of the dogs will come to HSI/Canada’s temporary shelter in Montreal.

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI/Canada, said: “My heart broke as I walked onto this facility. Breeding dogs were crammed into miserable, filthy cages and the puppies were destined for brutal slaughter in the coming months. It was clear that many of the dogs were former pets, with some still wearing collars. Thanks to our amazing supporters, HSI is able to rescue all of these dogs and give them the second chance they so deserve.”

Nara Kim, HSI’s South Korea dog meat campaigner, believes HSI's model for change is the ideal solution: “Across Asia, momentum is building to end the dog meat trade. Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore already have bans in place,with Indonesia recently pledging a ban, and the authorities in Hanoi, Vietnam also committing to ending the cruel trade. So the time is right for South Korea also to embrace change.”

HSI has closed down dog meat farms in Namyangju, Ilsan, Hongseong, Haemi, Wonju, Goyang, Seongnam, Yesan and Gyeonggi-do, with some farmers choosing to retire and others switching to trades such as mushroom growing and parsley farming.

HSI/Canada wishes to thank the following partners for making this rescue possible: La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, Kane Veterinary Supplies, Sharp Transportation and Air Canada.

Media in Toronto (GTA) are welcome to visit the temporary emergency shelter in Cambridge on October 10th and 11th, and at Air Canada Cargo - Toronto Pearson International Airport on October 11th at 8:30pm. Montreal and Quebec media can film the arrival of the dogs at HSI/Canada’s Montreal emergency shelter the evening of October 12th (Time TBC). Call or email media contact below for more information.

Download b-roll video and photos here.

Facts:

  • More than 2.5 million dogs a year are reared on thousands of dog meat farms across South Korea, the only country known to farm dogs for human consumption. Across Asia, in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and southeast Asia an estimated 30 million dogs are killed and eaten each year, mainly stolen pets and street dogs.
  • In addition to their life of suffering on the farm, the method used to kill the dogs is brutal - death by electrocution is most common, with dogs usually taking up to five minutes to die. Hanging is also practiced. Dogs are killed in full view of other dogs.
  • While most people don’t regularly eat dog, it remains popular during the Bok Nal days of summer in July and August, when it is eaten as a soup called bosintang under the misconception that it improves stamina and virility.
  • The dog meat industry is in legal limbo in South Korea, neither legal nor illegal. Many provisions of the Animal Protection Act are routinely breached, such as the ban on killing animals in a brutal way including hanging by the neck, and on killing them in public areas or in front of other animals of the same species.
  • At each dog meat farm closure, HSI has a veterinarian test for the presence of the H3N2, or dog flu, virus at the time the dogs receive their rabies, DHPP, and corona virus vaccines. HSI also vaccinates the dogs for distemper, parvo and coronavirus. HSI then quarantines the dogs on the farm or at a temporary shelter with no dogs permitted in or out for at least 30 days prior to transport overseas.
  • After receiving care, proper nutrition and rehabilitation at HSI/Canada’s emergency shelters, the rescued dogs will be transported to Shelter and Rescue Partners in Canada and in the U.S., who then give the animals the care and love they deserve. We will announce the shelters in Canada, which can be contacted directly by those interested in adoption. For more information, please visit hsicanada.ca/savedogs.

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Media contact: Michael Bernard – c: 613-371-5170, mbernard@hsi.org

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