Provincial and federal action is needed now to phase out cruel fur farming and protect Canadians from potentially devastating disease outbreaks

Humane Society International / Canada


Kristo Muurimaa/Oikeutta Elaimille

MONTREAL—In the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak among workers and animals at a factory fur farm in BC’s Fraser Valley, Humane Society International/Canada is once again calling on provincial and federal governments to end fur farming in Canada. Of those holding an opinion, 78% of Canadians support a national ban on fur farming (Insights West, 2020). Yet in stark contrast to Canadian opinion, a 2020 CBC News analysis revealed that more than $100 million in federal and provincial funds have been allocated to the mink farming industry since 2014 alone.

Eight workers and at least five minks at the BC factory fur farm have contracted SARS-CoV-2. In other major mink producing nations, including Denmark, significant outbreaks of COVID-19—and alarming mutations of the virus, as well as transmissions to people—have been well documented in factory mink farms. These outbreaks have led to the decision to slaughter more than 15 million minks in horrific ways, along with the quarantining of hundreds of thousands of people. Clearly, the millions of minks that are intensively confined in Canadian factory fur farms are highly susceptible to contracting, mutating and transmitting SARS-CoV-2, which can result in outbreaks in human populations and undermine medical progress.

Kelly Butler, wildlife campaign manager for HSI/Canada, stated, “Factory fur farms cannot begin to meet the most basic of needs of the wild animals they imprison and kill for fashion and they create a strong opportunity for transmission and mutation of zoonotic diseases including COVID-19. It is unconscionable that our federal and provincial governments continue to allow and subsidize this cruel industry and put the health and safety of Canadians at risk simply to serve the whims of the fashion industry.”

Multiple investigations of Canadian fur farms in recent years have exposed the horrific conditions on factory fur farms. In one of these, the chief scientific officer to the BC SPCA discussed her 2014 observations at a BC fur farm, stating, “70,000 mink squirmed in cages the size of two shoe boxes as heaps of their own excrement mounted on the floor beneath them. Many were missing limbs, digits and ears, and one animal—mysteriously paralyzed—had to be euthanized on site.”

Nearly two million animals are slaughtered on fur farms in Canada annually. Fur farming has already been banned in 12 countries, and is effectively banned or being phased out in many others.

ENDS

Media Contact: Michael Bernard, HSI/Canada, deputy director: 613.371.5170; mbernard@hsi.org

Canada’s pork industry wants to extend its timeline to phase out cruel intensive confinement systems from 10 to 15 years

Humane Society International / Canada


Aumsama, iStock.com

MONTREAL—Humane Society International/Canada, a leading national advocacy group for animal welfare, is deeply concerned about the pork industry’s delay in phasing out gestation crates, which are used to confine mother pigs for nearly their entire lives. These crates, also known as sow stalls, are commonplace in Canada’s pork industry and are so small that the animals cannot even turn around.

Riana Topan, HSI/Canada’s campaign manager for farm animal welfare, says: “Pigs are intelligent, social creatures and they should be given the opportunity to move around freely, to socialize, explore and play. We urge the pork industry to quit stalling and to adhere to its original timeline of phasing out gestation crates by 2024. This kind of delay, which will compromise the welfare of hundreds of thousands of animals, is a stark reminder of why the animal agriculture sector should not be allowed to self-regulate.”

The Canadian pork industry committed to a transition away from sow stalls in 2014, after immense public pressure from Canadian consumers who are increasingly concerned about animal welfare. Over 32,000 Canadians participated in an industry driven and government sanctioned Code of Practice development process in 2013, through which stalls were scheduled to largely be replaced with group housing systems by 2024, with gestation stalls permitted for up to 35 days of pregnancy. HSI/Canada hailed the move as an historic achievement for farm animal welfare in North America at the time. Unfortunately, the pork industry is stalling and now says the transition cannot be completed until 2029.

Within Canada, the federal government only regulates animal transport and slaughter. There are few laws to ensure humane animal treatment on farms. Instead, there are industry-specific Codes of Practice, which are created by the industry-dominated National Farm Animal Care Council and enforced by the industries to which they pertain. These Codes of Practice are not legally binding.

NFACC develops and reviews these Codes regularly and the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs is currently being revised, with comments being accepted until Nov. 19, 2020. The most contentious proposed change extends the timeline to phase out gestation crates from 2024 to 2029. The original agreement was to switch to group housing systems, which are better for animal welfare, five years earlier than the proposal currently under consideration.

HSI/Canada is calling on the Canadian pork industry to follow through on the commitment it agreed to in 2014. HSI/Canada further calls on the federal government to better regulate the pork industry and to divert any existing industry subsidies towards eliminating gestation crates. We also urge food companies—including Canada’s grocery industry—to uphold their existing commitment to have crate-free supply chains by 2022.

Facts:

  • The federal government does not regulate the treatment of animals on farms. Most provinces have animal cruelty legislation, but they typically contain exemptions for “generally accepted” agricultural practices. This lack of animal welfare laws and the Code of Practice system allow the industry to self-regulate, perpetuating cruel practices.
  • The NFACC Codes of Practice are developed largely by the industry they pertain to and are not enforced with third-party oversight.
  • Pigs routinely suffer in the pork industry: they often live in bare physical and social environments and are forced to undergo mutilative practices like tail docking, teeth clipping and castration without adequate pain relief. Piglets can be “euthanized” using blunt force trauma, where their heads are hit against a flat, hard surface or they are hit with “a sharp, firm blow with a heavy blunt instrument to the top of the head over the brain.”
  • A national poll conducted by Environics Research Group in 2013 revealed that an overwhelming 84% of Canadians support a phase out of the use of gestation crates for breeding sows.

ENDS

Media contact: Riana Topan, HSI/Canada, campaign manager: 613-315-0775, rtopan@hsi.org.

Humane Society International / Canada


Wildlife killing contests legally take place in British Columbia every year. During these contests, animals are senselessly killed to accumulate points towards winning cash and/or prizes.

Humane Society International / Canada


Wildlife experts have stated that killing wolves will not save caribou; caribou are struggling as a result of habitat loss due to industrial development.

Fifty of the traumatized dogs to receive specialized care at shelter near Montreal

Humane Society International / Canada


Ewa Demianowicz, HSI HSI/Canada and Friends of HSI have welcomed dogs saved from a dog meat farm in South Korea (farm 17). A total of 50 dogs will be cared for by the team.

MONTREAL, QC—A total of 196 dogs have been rescued by Humane Society International from South Korean dog meat farms and slaughter facilities. Over the past  weeks, the HSI Animal Rescue Team quarantined in solitary confinement at a government-approved facility in Seoul before being allowed to head to a dog meat farm in Haemi to rescue 170 dogs, including golden retrievers, a poodle, Korean jindos and mastiffs, Pomeranians, terriers and a Labrador. These dogs, and an additional 26 dogs rescued from previous dog meat farms and slaughter operations, have been transported directly to the United States.

Fifty of the dogs are coming to the HSI/Canada and Friends of HSI emergency shelter located just outside of Montreal, where they will receive the love, veterinary care and rehabilitation therapy they need prior to be placed in forever homes.

Ewa Demianowicz, Senior Campaign Manager for HSI/Canada, said: “We are so pleased to welcome these 50 survivors of the South Korean dog meat trade into our emergency shelter. At last these dogs can receive the specialized care they need to recover from the horrific trauma they have endured. Our expert team will work with these dogs around the clock to make sure each and every one of them gets a second chance and a forever home.”

Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s dog meat campaign manager, stated at the scene of the dog meat farm rescue: “Every dog meat farm I’ve visited has a horrible stench of feces and rotting food, but there was something different about this dog farm, it had a smell of death. The conditions were truly pitiful, and when we found these dogs they had looks of utter despair on their faces that will haunt us forever. Many of them are covered in painful sores and wounds from neglect, some have inflamed eyes and peer out blindly from their cage. I feel almost grateful they can no longer see this horrible place they live in, and when they finally receive veterinary care and can open their eyes, they will never have to endure this hopelessness again.”

This marks the 17th dog meat farm that HSI has permanently closed down, and coincides with the publication of a new opinion poll showing growing support in South Korea for a ban on dog meat consumption. The poll, conducted by Nielsen and commission by Humane Society International/Korea, shows that 84% of the population say they don’t or won’t eat dog, and almost 60% support a legislative ban on the trade.

Key poll findings:

  • 84% of South Koreans haven’t consumed dog meat or say they are not willing to consume it in the future.
  • 59% of South Koreans support banning dog meat, an increase of 23.9% from 2017, with opposition to a ban at an all-time low (fewer than half (41.4%) of the population.
  • 57% of South Koreans believe dog meat consumption reflects poorly on Korea, increasing from 37% in 2017.

Facts:

  • Dog meat is most popular in South Korea during the Bok days of summer in July and August.
  • Recent crackdowns by authorities to curb the dog meat industry include the shutting down of Taepyeong dog slaughterhouse (the country’s largest) by Seongnam City Council in November 2018, followed in July 2019 by the closure of Gupo dog meat market in Busan (South Korea’s second largest dog meat market after Moran market, which has also closed), and a declaration in October last year by the mayor of Seoul that the city is “dog slaughter free.” In November 2019 a court found that a dog farmer who electrocuted dogs was in violation of the Animal Protection Act, a judgement that could have huge implications for an industry that relies almost entirely on electrocution as a killing method.
  • At each dog meat farm closure, HSI has a veterinarian test for the presence of the H3N2 virus (“canine influenza”), at the time the dogs receive their rabies, DHPP and coronavirus vaccines. HSI then quarantines the dogs on the farm or at a shelter for at least 30 days, and the dogs are health certified again prior to transport overseas.

For photos: click here, and then select “create account” at the top of the page; fill out your information, and an administrator will approve you right away. If you encounter any difficulties, do not hesitate to reach out to the media contact below.

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Media Contact: Ewa Demianowicz: 514-575-3499; edemianowicz@hsi.org.

Nielsen online research conducted August/September 2020. Total sample size 1,000 people across six major cities in South Korea (Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Gwangju, Daejeon, Ulsan) weighted and representative of South Korean adults (aged 18+).

COVID-19 Animal Response Program helps Toronto’s most vulnerable communities and individuals care for animals during this crisis

Humane Society International / Canada


Woman with dog
HSI/Canada

TORONTO–Humane Society International/Canada (HSI/Canada) and Friends of HSI (FHSI) are partnering with Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) to support residents with companion animals in the GTA’s most underserved communities, which have been particularily hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

HSI/Canada and Friends of HSI launched the COVID-19 Animal Response Program in April 2020 to provide critical support to individuals, groups and communities in the Canadian epicenters of this crisis. Through a large network of community organizations, HSI/Canada has provided more than 40,000 kg of pet food,supplies and animal care support that have helped thousands of animals since this pandemic began. The program will now work with TCHC to ensure that pet owners impacted by the pandemic, living in some 2,000 buildings across the GTA, receive the support they need to keep their animals healthy and at home.

Larysa Struk, Ontario Coordinator, COVID-19 Animal Response Program for HSI/Canada said: “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, our animal response team has been working tirelessly to help people who are struggling to provide for their animals and who have nowhere else to look for help. By partnering with TCHC, we are able to reach many more individuals that have urgent needs when it comes to their companion animals. Our program is helping to keep dogs and cats with their families throughout this pandemic.”

“During the COVID-19 emergency, our frontline staff have focused on delivering essential services and working alongside our many partners to connect tenants to needed supports arising from the pandemic. Humane Society International Canada’s generous donation of pet food and supplies will go a long way to supporting tenants during this challenging time,” said TCHC Chief Operating Officer Sheila Penny.

If you or someone you know needs assistance caring for a pet because of the impacts of COVID-19, please contact the program team at:  onresponse@hsicanada.ca or 647-215-5082

HSI/Canada and Friends of HSI are grateful for the generous support of the Eric S. Margolis Family Foundation, which has made this program possible, and PetSmart Charities® of Canada, for allowing us to continue to increase our impact and reach across the GTA during this challenging time for individuals and their animals.

ENDS

Media contacts:

HSI/Canada’s Forward Food program will support Sodexo’s foodservice operations in introducing delicious and sustainable menu items

Humane Society International / Canada


Chat Photography/HSI Vegan macaroni and cheese

MONTRÉAL—Sodexo Canada and Humane Society International/Canada are excited to announce a new national partnership that will elevate plant-based menu options in Sodexo’s accounts across the country. As part of the partnership, HSI/Canada’s Forward Food program will train Sodexo chefs on plant-based cooking techniques and work with Sodexo leadership to develop new, custom plant-based recipes. Select Sodexo accounts will transition at least 20% of their current menu items to be plant-based with support from HSI/Canada’s Forward Food program, which has already worked with numerous institutions and businesses in Canada to enhance their plant-based offerings.

“Understanding the impacts of our services on the environment, communities we serve, wellness we provide and people we employ is on the forefront for Sodexo Canada’s sustainable living initiatives. Together with Humane Society International we have refreshed our strategy to bring our teams the tools they need through training and engagement, data analysis and responsible sourcing strategies to achieve our commitment to reducing emissions and providing increased healthy and delicious plant based menu offerings,” says Davide Del Brocco, sustainability manager at Sodexo Canada.

Riana Topan, campaign manager for HSI/Canada says, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Sodexo to support their sustainability and plant-based menu goals. Sodexo has set ambitious targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and serving more plant-based meals is critical to achieving those targets and to improving animal welfare. We look forward to supporting Sodexo’s higher education, corporate, energy and resource accounts across Canada to ensure that their customers always have access to sustainable and satisfying plant-based food options.”

“The Sodexo Innovation Challenge incorporates the creativity of our chefs and the resources of our Corporate Responsibility team directly into the menu development process. This synergy with HSI/Canada’s Forward Food program enables us to achieve our mutual goals of creating menus that speak to the needs of Canadians and drive sustainable business practices,” says Kyle Mason, Sodexo Canada’s senior manager of culinary development.

In November, Sodexo and HSI/Canada’s Forward Food program will host the country’s first virtual, national plant-based culinary training session for 12 of Sodexo’s higher education accounts. The training session will give Sodexo chefs from across Canada the opportunity to learn a variety of plant-based recipes, experiment with new ingredients and cooking techniques, and explore ways to integrate more options into Sodexo’s menus. Following the training, each Sodexo account will significantly increase its offering of plant-based items that are better for animals, the environment and human health, as part of the HSI/Canada’s Forward Food Pledge.

The partnership is officially launching this month, with Sodexo Canada’s participation in HSI/Canada’s annual Forward Food Leadership Summit. Del Brocco will speak about Sodexo’s corporate social responsibility initiatives and commitment to serving more sustainable plant-based dishes. The summit will bring together food service professionals from the higher education, retail, restaurant, manufacturing and other sectors, and will discuss how to use plant-based foods to create healthier, more sustainable menus in the wake of COVID-19.

Sodexo and Humane Society International intend to co-host additional events in 2021. HSI and Sodexo are also working together on similar initiatives in other countries around the world, including in Southeast Asia, that will improve sustainability, public health and animal welfare.

ENDS

Media contacts: 

Humane Society International/Canada urges companies to improve welfare of chickens raised for meat

Humane Society International / Canada


studiodr/iStock.com 

OTTAWA—The largest study ever conducted on the welfare of chickens raised for meat confirms that fast-growing breeds, which make up the majority of chickens raised for commercial meat production, suffer immensely. Around the world, a staggering 60 billion broiler chickens are bred for meat each year.

The University of Guelph, Canada, study included 7,500 chickens from 16 different strains and took two years to complete. While previous studies have also indicated that chickens raised for meat are prone to health and welfare problems, this new research demonstrates that, despite recent breeding objectives, selection for rapid growth and breast-meat yield continues to leave conventional chicken strains with significant welfare issues such as reduced mobility, foot pad lesions, muscle damage and disproportionate heart and lung development. Slower growing chickens tested in the same research trial had consistently better health and behavioural outcomes.

Most commercial chicken meat production around the world currently utilizes rapidly growing breeds, selectively bred over generations to grow unusually fast. These chickens grow from hatch to slaughter weight in just six weeks, the vast majority intensively reared in overcrowded sheds on factory farms devoid of environmental enrichment or natural sunlight.

As stated in the research summary report: “While this high productivity means affordable, consistent product, it has come at a cost to broiler welfare.”

Riana Topan, HSI/Canada’s campaign manager for farm animal welfare, says: “More than 750 million chickens were raised and slaughtered for meat in Canada last year. This study confirms what we already suspected: that the fast growth and tremendous weight these animals have been bred to reach results in very poor welfare, and a life of pain. Responsible food companies across the country must work quickly to move away from these rapid-growth birds and implement reforms – outlined in the Better Chicken Commitment – to reduce the needless suffering of millions of animals. Retailers, restaurants and consumers must also make more responsible purchasing choices, including reducing and replacing chicken altogether with plant-based proteins and meat-free chicken alternatives.”

The University of Guelph worked independently but accepted input and advice from chicken breeding companies, who provided the animals for the study and advised on their needs. However, even when tested under the carefully controlled environmental conditions specified by the breeders, the welfare of the fastest growing commercial strains was poor. Rapidly growing broiler chickens reared without carefully controlled ventilation, nutrition or temperature controls may suffer even further.

Based on the study’s results, Global Animal Partnership (G.A.P.), a leading farm animal welfare certification and labeling program, will revise its standard on the welfare of chickens to account for this important new science, and Humane Society International urges other welfare assurance schemes to  do the same. As hundreds of large food and hospitality companies have pledged to address animal welfare as part of their corporate social responsibility commitments, G.A.P. certification is a good path toward meeting those promises. The updated broiler chicken requirements in the G.A.P. program will help ensure companies are meeting science-based welfare standards.

The newly released summary report disseminates the initial results, with further analysis expected by the end of the year and more in 2021. The data is expected to be published in peer-reviewed journals, making a key contribution to the scientific literature.

ENDS

Media contact: Riana Topan, campaign manager, HSI/Canada: 613-315-0775, rtopan@hsi.org.

“There is no future in this dog meat industry,” says farmer Kim

Humane Society International / Global


Jean Chung/for HSI Dogs are shown locked in a cage at a dog meat farm in Hongseong, South Korea, on Saturday, February 8, 2020.

SEOUL—More than 70 dogs found languishing on a South Korean dog meat farm by animal charity Humane Society International have been given a second chance by the farmer’s decision to quit the dog meat industry once and for all. Mr. Nakseon Kim has been breeding dogs for nearly 40 years, but he jumped at the chance to leave dog farming behind when HSI offered to help him start a new life growing cabbages and other vegetables instead.

Amid growing South Korean opposition to eating dogs and a series of new regulations and court rulings cracking down on the industry, farmers like Mr. Kim are increasingly looking for an exit strategy but with one request – to save their dogs. After years of sending the animals to slaughter, Mr. Kim is not the first farmer to be relieved to learn that HSI rescues, rehabilitates and seeks happy homes for all the dogs.

“It may sound odd but I started dog farming because I like dogs,” said Mr. Kim, “I’ve never actually been a big fan of dog meat myself. I had a few dogs so I began breeding them and when I had 20 or 30 I started to sell them because I thought it would be good money but it hasn’t really worked out that way. I earn nothing from this dog farm, and pressure from the government is increasing and it’s not a good business at all.”

On his property in Hongseong, Mr. Kim breeds tosas, Jindos, poodles, beagles, huskies, golden retrievers, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas and Boston terriers for two abusive industries – the meat trade and the puppy mill trade. In rows of dilapidated cages, surrounded by animal waste, junk and garbage, some dogs are destined for the slaughterhouse, and others the unscrupulous puppy mill trade. Despite Korea’s dog meat industry attempting to claim a difference between pet dogs and “meat dogs”, the reality is they are all just dogs whose fate ultimately depends on where greatest profits can be made.

Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s dog meat campaigner, said: “Unfortunately, it is still very common in South Korea to see live puppies for sale in pet shop windows. But what most Koreans will be shocked to learn is that these same puppies could easily have ended up being killed for human consumption instead. Whether they live or die, they are all born in this miserable place, their mothers intensively bred over and over until they are exhausted and eventually sold to slaughterhouses. I’m so glad that this nightmare has ended for these lovely dogs, but until the government commits to phase out this dreadful industry, the nightmare continues for millions more. As Koreans we need to be their voice and call for an end to the dog farming and dog meat industries.”

Marking the 16th dog farm that HSI has closed since its farmer transition program began in 2015, all the dogs will eventually be flown to partner shelters in Canada and the United States to seek adoptive homes. First, they are being relocated to a temporary boarding facility in South Korea while the organization waits for COVID-19 travel restrictions to relax. Once safely off the farm, the dogs will immediately receive a full veterinary check-up and settle into their temporary quarters where they can begin their rehabilitation.

HSI hopes its model for change will hasten an end to the controversial and cruel industry by demonstrating to the Korean government that a farmer-supported phase out of farms can work.

Mr. Kim said: “It’s too much work and I’ve got too old to be doing this for no profit. I just want to get some rest from all of this now. I’ve had enough, especially now that I have to pay for dog food since the local school decided to stop giving me free kitchen waste. I don’t think there are many people in South Korea who are willing to run dog meat farms anymore. There is no future in this dog meat industry. Once HSI helps me close my dog farm, I think I will start to grow crops instead like lettuce, cabbage, or other greens to sell to restaurants. That’s a business with a future.”

Dog meat consumption has been steadily declining in South Korea, and is banned or severely restricted in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. In 2018 both Indonesia and Vietnam’s capital city Hanoi pledged an end to the dog meat trade, and most recently in April 2020 the Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai banned dog and cat meat consumption following a public statement by the Chinese government that dogs are considered companions and not livestock. As global pressure builds for countries across Asia to permanently close wildlife wet markets amid coronavirus risks, the array of undeniable human health risks posed by the dog meat trade in South Korea and across Asia, is strengthening calls for action across the continent.

Facts:   

  • Up to 2 million dogs a year are bred and raised on thousands of dog meat farms across South Korea.
  • Dog meat consumption is declining in South Korea, particularly among younger generations, and most Koreans don’t eat it regularly. A June 2018 survey by Gallup Korea showed that 70% of South Koreans say they will not eat dog meat in future. Still, dog meat remains popular during the Bok days of summer in July and August based on its perceived curative properties during the hot and humid summer months.
  • There has been a series of recent crackdowns by authorities to curb the dog meat industry. In November 2018, HSI/Korea assisted Seongnam City Council in shutting down Taepyeong dog slaughterhouse (the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse), followed in July 2019 by the closure of Gupo dog meat market in Busan (South Korea’s second largest dog meat market after Moran market, which has also closed), and a declaration in October last year by the mayor of Seoul that the city is “dog slaughter free”. Most recently, last November HSI’s partner group Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) won a Supreme Court case against a dog farmer who electrocuted dogs in violation of the Animal Protection Act, a judgement that could have huge implications for an industry that relies almost entirely on this brutal and protracted killing method.
  • HSI has rescued more than 2,000 dogs from South Korea’s meat industry. At each dog meat farm closure, HSI has a veterinarian test for the presence of the H3N2 virus (“canine influenza”), at the time the dogs receive their rabies, DHPP and coronavirus vaccines. HSI also vaccinates the dogs for distemper and parvo. HSI then quarantines the dogs on the farm or at a shelter for at least 30 days, and the dogs are health certified again prior to transport overseas.

Download broll video and photos of the rescue.

ENDS

Media contacts
United Kingdom and international media: Wendy Higgins, whiggins@hsi.org, +44 (0)7989 972 423
United States: Nancy Hwa, nhwa@hsi.org, 1-202-596-0808
South Korea: Nara Kim, nkim@hsi.org

Rescued dogs to be temporarily sheltered in Seoul

Humane Society International / Canada


Jean Chung/for HSI Dogs are shown locked in a cage at a dog meat farm in Hongseong, South Korea, February 8, 2020.

MONTREAL –More than 70 dogs found suffering by HSI on a hybrid dog meat farm and puppy mill in South Korea have been rescued and relocated to a temporary boarding facility in South Korea. Once safely off the farm, the dogs will immediately receive a full veterinary check-up and settle into their temporary quarters where they can begin their rehabilitation.

Many of the dogs will eventually be flown to HSI/Canada’s Montreal emergency shelter, where over 450 dogs from the dog meat trade have been successfully rehabilitated before being placed in forever homes. This marks the 16th dog farm that HSI has closed since its pioneering dog meat farm transition program began in 2015.

Several breeds were found on this facility, including tosas, Jindos, poodles, beagles, huskies, golden retrievers, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas and Boston terriers. The facility supplied two abusive industries: the meat trade, and the puppy mill trade. In rows of dilapidated cages, surrounded by animal waste, junk and garbage, some dogs were destined for the slaughterhouse, and others the unscrupulous puppy mill trade.

Émilie-Lune Sauvé, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada, stated: “We are so relieved to know that these dogs, who have endured such misery, are safe at last. But millions more are still confined on dog meat farms in South Korea and this industry needs to be shut down for good. We urge South Korea to follow the example of the two cities in China that have recently banned dog meat trade, and end this suffering forever.”

Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s dog meat campaigner, added: “Unfortunately, it is still very common in South Korea to see live puppies for sale in pet shop windows. But what most Koreans will be shocked to learn is that these same puppies could easily have ended up being killed for human consumption instead. Whether they live or die, they are all born in this miserable place, their mothers intensively bred over and over until they are exhausted and eventually sold to slaughterhouses. I’m so glad that this nightmare has ended for these lovely dogs, but until the government commits to phase out this dreadful industry, the nightmare continues for millions more.”

Opposition to eating dogs is growing steadily in South Korea, and a series of new regulations and court rulings are cracking down on this cruel industry.

To download broll video and photos of the rescue, click here.

Facts:

  • Up to 2 million dogs a year are bred and raised on thousands of dog meat farms across South Korea.
  • Dog meat consumption is declining in South Korea, particularly among younger generations, and most Koreans don’t eat it regularly. A June 2018 surveyby Gallup Korea showed that 70% of South Koreans say they will not eat dog meat in future. Still, dog meat remains popular during the Bok days of summer in July and August based on its perceived curative properties during the hot and humid summer months.
  • There has been a series of recent crackdowns by authorities to curb the dog meat industry. In November 2018, HSI/Korea assisted Seongnam City Council in shutting down Taepyeong dog slaughterhouse (the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse), followed in July 2019 by the closure of Gupo dog meat market in Busan (South Korea’s second largest dog meat market after Moran market, which has also closed), and a declaration in October last year by the mayor of Seoul that the city is “dog slaughter free”. Most recently, last November HSI’s partner group Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) won a Supreme Court case against a dog farmer who electrocuted dogs in violation of the Animal Protection Act, a judgement that could have huge implications for an industry that relies almost entirely on this brutal and protracted killing method.
  • HSI has rescued more than 2,000 dogs from South Korea’s meat industry. At each dog meat farm closure, HSI has a veterinarian test for the presence of the H3N2 virus (“canine influenza”), at the time the dogs receive their rabies, DHPP and coronavirus vaccines. HSI also vaccinates the dogs for distemper and parvo. HSI then quarantines the dogs on the farm or at a shelter for at least 30 days, and the dogs are health certified again prior to transport overseas.
  • Dog meat consumption has been steadily declining in South Korea, and is banned or severely restricted in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. As global pressure builds for countries across Asia to permanently close wildlife wet markets amid coronavirus risks, the array of undeniable human health risks posed by the dog meat trade in South Korea and across Asia, is strengthening calls for action across the continent.

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Media contact: Christopher Paré, Director of Communications, HSI/Canada – Cell: 438-402-0643, email: cpare@hsi.org

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation, farm animal welfare and animals in research. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International which, together with its affiliates, constitutes one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide and on the web at hsicanada.ca.

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