Humane Society International/Canada emergency shelters in Ontario and Quebec will provide urgent care and rehabilitation

Humane Society International / Canada

Jean Chung/HSI

TORONTO – As the government in South Korea considers a ban on the dog meat industry, more than 100 lucky dogs who were rescued from the country’s dog meat farms last year will arrive in Canada to continue their journey to find forever homes.  

Many of the dogs were saved from a dog farm on Jindo Island by Humane Society International in partnership with local group LIFE. They were found confined in small, dilapidated wire cages in horrendous conditions, many of them forced to witness the brutal slaughter of cage mates. Conditions on the farm were so bad that local authorities responding to neighbour complaints about dogs crying in terror closed down the farm for breaching the Animal Protection Act. In November last year, the South Korean government initiated a task force to consider a ban on farming dogs for consumption, prompted by a suggestion from President Moon Jae-in.   

All the dogs coming to Canada were being bred for human consumption and most are Jindos, South Korea’s national dog breed. Due to flight restrictions, they were unable to leave South Korea at the time of rescue and so were cared for by HSI’s partner shelter. Now free to fly, the Jindo Island rescues together with dogs HSI saved from other farms, will arrive in Ontario over the next week and a half to receive much needed medical and behavioural care at HSI/Canada’s temporary shelter in Cambridge. While many of the dogs will later be transferred to a separate shelter in the United States to start their new life, around 40 dogs will travel to HSI/Canada’s Montreal facility to begin their search for adoptive families and finally put their traumatic past behind them.  

Ewa Demianowicz, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada, said: “We are so thrilled to once again help our colleagues in South Korea end the cruel dog meat trade by welcoming these dogs who have been rescued from horrible dog meat farms at our emergency shelters. HSI/Canada will provide veterinary and behavioural care for these dogs and then our partner organisations will help find loving adoptive families for around 40 of them, while others will travel on to the United States to be cared for by our colleagues there. These dogs have endured tremendous suffering and our team is thrilled to be bringing them to safety and helping them recover from their physical and psychological trauma.”

At the Jindo Island farm, HSI/Korea was horrified to discover a large pile of collars in the central killing area of the farm where countless dogs will have been killed by electrocution and butchered for dog meat while their terrified cage mates looked on. Humane Society International/Korea, which has closed down 17 other dog meat farms in the country and rescued almost 2,500 dogs, is campaigning for legislation in South Korea to end the dog meat industry.   

Among the dogs coming to Canada is gentle Kaya, whose cage on the Jindo Island farm was positioned very close to the slaughter area. Despite the traumatic scenes she must have witnessed, Kaya was eager for human affection during her rescue, and loves being fussed over. Kaya’s tail doesn’t stop wagging, she’s always so happy to see people. Also flying to Canada is sweet Moose who is very calm and enjoys treats; energetic Max who was likely an abandoned pet; Sony who was depressed and emaciated at rescue but is now gaining weight and confidence; and other sweet natured Jindos such as Lucie-loo and Jenny-joo. 

As these dogs start new lives, HSI’s team in Seoul will continue to campaign for an end to the dog meat industry and is looking forward to assisting the government’s task force in its deliberations. Since 2015, HSI’s Models for Change program has seen the NGO work in co-operation with many dog farmers eager to leave the controversial and dying industry, helping them transition to more profitable and humane trades. Opinion polls show that most Koreans (84%) don’t or won’t eat dog meat, and there is growing public support (almost 60%) for a ban. Despite this, an estimated 1 to 2 million dogs are still kept on thousands of farms across South Korea. 

Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s dog meat campaign manager, said: “I hope very much that for these dogs flying to Canada, the dog meat industry will soon be just a distant memory. They have experienced the worst of humanity, but now they will know what love and compassion feels like. Here in South Korea we are at a crossroads, with the government giving serious consideration to ending this cruel industry. The many years of experience that HSI’s pioneering dog farm closure program has to offer will hopefully take us one step closer to a future where no dog farms exist and all dogs can live happy lives.”

HSI’s farm closures were conducted under COVID-19 health and safety restrictions. A veterinarian tests for the presence of the H3N2 virus (“canine influenza”) at the time the dogs receive their rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvo virus, parainfluenza and Leptospira vaccines. The dogs are quarantined and health certified prior to transport overseas, in accordance with international export and import requirements. 

Download photos and video of this rescue.


Media Contact: Ewa Demianowicz: 514-575-3499, 

Landmark decision will protect public health and save hundreds of thousands of animals annually from a lifetime of misery

Humane Society International / Canada

Jillian Cooper/ Wild mink

MONTREAL—In the wake of multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 on BC fur farms—and a recent incident in which infectious mink escaped from a quarantined facility—the provincial government has announced a phase-out of mink farming by April 2023. In the past 18 months, hundreds of COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred on mink farms globally, with dangerous mutations of the virus occurring in some facilities and being transmitted back into the human population.

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI/Canada stated: “It is the abysmal conditions and horrendous suffering on factory fur farms that make these facilities incubators for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Mink farming is exceptionally cruel, intensively confining highly intelligent, semi-aquatic wild animals and denying them their most basic of needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined our relationship with animals and our environment, calling into question many formerly accepted practices. In protecting both people and mink, the BC government has shown tremendous leadership and set an important example for the rest of the nation to follow.”

Mink on almost 450 mink fur farms across 12 countries (including 10 EU member states) have been found infected with COVID-19, leading to mass culls of millions of minks. British Columbia is the latest member of a growing list of nations and territories— including the UK, Luxembourg, Slovakia and the Netherlands—that have taken decisive action to stop fur farming within their jurisdiction due to serious public health and animal welfare concerns.


  • The BC provincial health officer identified mink farming as a “health hazard” that “endangers public health,” noting that “the susceptibility of mink to infection with SARS-CoV-2 creates a risk of development of variants of concern which pose a threat to public health and could undermine the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccination program in British Columbia.”[1]
  • Mink escape into the wild from fur factory farms at notoriously high rates. In 2020 (the last year for which data is available), over 23,000 mink died prematurely or escaped from BC fur farms.
  • Escaped, infected mink are capable of transmitting COVID-19 to wild mink, and likely to other susceptible species of wildlife, which can establish disease reservoirs in the wild, risking further virus mutation and potentially catastrophic spillover events.
  • Fur farming has been banned and/or is in the process of being phased-out in numerous European nations such as Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland’s cabinet has approved legislation that would see fur farming banned effective from 2022; and legislation to ban mink farming is currently being debated by politicians in France, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and Ukraine.



Media Contact: Michael Bernard: 613-371-5170;

Tens of thousands of concerned Canadians and international stakeholders participated in public consultation on possible trade prohibitions

Humane Society International / Canada

Elephant and calf
Getty Images/istockphoto

MONTREAL—As the Canadian government’s public consultation on elephant ivory trade comes to an end, Humane Society International/Canada, Elephanatics, and more than 40 Canadian and international NGOs, together representing tens of millions of supporters globally, have signed on to a letter calling on the new Canadian government to take urgent action to prohibit elephant ivory trade.

Environment and Climate Change Canada launched the public consultation to hear feedback on proposed measures to restrict or end elephant ivory trade on July 23, 2021. During the 60-day consultation period, Canadians and individuals around the world voiced their support for ending Canada’s role in the elephant ivory trade.

Kelly Butler, the wildlife campaign manager for Humane Society International/Canada, stated:

“Canadians have made it clear that there is no place for elephant ivory trade in Canada. We are now calling on the newly elected Canadian government to listen to the overwhelming number of Canadians and international stakeholders who supported strict elephant ivory trade prohibitions and implement these measures urgently. Elephants do not have another four years to wait.”

Tessa Vanderkop, vice-president of Elephanatics, stated:

“The African elephant population has declined by a staggering 96% in the last century alone and the species is at risk of going extinct in the wild within the next few decades without global intervention. The United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and leading conservation organizations including the African Elephant Coalition have called for countries to close their legal elephant ivory markets in order to curtail poaching and save African elephants from extinction. Experts around the world agree that it’s beyond due time for Canada to close its elephant ivory market.”

The NGO-led sign-on letter calls on the Canadian government to implement the strictest measures that were proposed in the consultation, including prohibitions on importing elephant ivory for commercial purposes or as hunting trophies, and is signed by:

African Conservation Foundation, Animal Defenders International, Animal Justice, Animals Asia Foundation, BC SPCA, Big Life Foundation Canada, Born Free Foundation, Bring The Elephant Home, Canopy,  CATCA Environmental and Wildlife Society (CEWS), Earth League International (ELI), Elephanatics, Elephant Listening Project, Elephant Reintegration Trust, Family and Animal Wellness Inc, Fondation Franz Weber, For the Love of Wildlife Ltd, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, Humane Canada™, IFAW Canada, Insure Our Future, International Animal Rescue, Mara Elephant Project, Member of this planet, National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. New Zealanders for Endangered Wildlife founder, No Whales In Captivity, NRDC, Nsefu Wildlife Conservation Foundation, NSPCA, Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Pro Wildlife, Rhino & Elephant Defenders (RED), Save Elephant Foundation, SEEJ-AFRICA (Saving Elephants through Education and Justice), Shark Research Institute, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Species Survival Network, Standfast Developments Ltd, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, Two Million Tusks, WildlifeDirect, World Animal Protection Canada, World Animal Protection International, World Elephant Day, and Zoocheck Inc.

Quick Facts:

  • Every year, as many as 35,000 elephants die at the hands of elephant ivory poachers in Africa.
  • In March of 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and declared the African forest elephant to be Critically Endangered and the African savanna elephant to be Endangered.
  • Canada’s top trading partners, including the United States, China and the United Kingdom have closed their elephant ivory markets in response to declining elephant populations.
  • In addition to the elephant ivory trade, Canada allows the import of elephant tusks and parts from trophy hunts. Approximately 300 African elephant tusks – representing 150 elephants – were legally imported into Canada from 2010-2018.
  • Repeated government seizures of elephant ivory in Canada are irrefutable evidence of illegal ivory trade in this nation. While such seizures may intercept some of the illegal trade that is occurring, it is conservatively assumed that customs intercepts just 10% of all contraband ivory.
  • In June, an open letter calling for an end to the elephant ivory trade in Canada was signed by notable Canadians including David Suzuki, Robert Bateman and Bryan Adams.
  • According to a 2020 poll by Insights West, 94% of Canadians support an elephant ivory trade ban. A public petition calling for a Canadian ban on the elephant ivory trade has amassed over 600,000 signatures.


Media Contact: Michael Bernard: 613-371-5170;

Canadians urged to speak up for elephants in public consultation

Humane Society International / Canada


MONTREAL—Seventeen renowned Canadian artists and scientists have signed an open letter calling on the Canadian government to take urgent action to prohibit elephant ivory trade. In the past century, the African elephant population, which is currently listed as critically endangered/endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, has declined by 96%, with leading scientists warning the population could be lost altogether within the next few decades in the absence of global intervention to disincentivize poachers.

On July 23, 2021, The Canadian government launched a public consultation to hear feedback on proposed measures to restrict or end elephant ivory trade.

Robert Bateman, renowned Canadian artist and conservationist, stated: “The survival of African elephants hinges on the actions of the global community, and progressive nations like Canada have a responsibility to act accordingly. I am joining countless Canadians in calling on the Canadian government to act now and ban elephant ivory trade. I commend the government for launching a public consultation and encourage all concerned Canadians to take this critically important opportunity to speak up.”

Michael Bernard, deputy director of Humane Society International/Canada, stated: “Canada is at a crossroads and the actions we take now to protect African elephants will be remembered for generations to come. In keeping with its commitments to preserve global biodiversity and end human-induced extinctions, the Canadian government has launched a crucial public consultation. We urge all Canadians to participate and make clear that only a robust national ban on elephant ivory trade can truly help us end the senseless killing of African elephants.”

Tessa Vanderkop, vice president of Elephanatics, stated: “Tens of thousands of African elephants are killed every year to fill the global demand for elephant ivory. The world community is taking action, and more than 620,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Canadian government to ban elephant ivory trade as a matter of urgency. We encourage all Canadians to take part in the consultation and make their voices heard for African elephants.”

The full list of notable Canadians who have signed onto the open letter urging the government to take action and ban elephant ivory trade includes: Bif Naked, musician; Bryan Adams, O.C., musician; Cristina Mittermeier, photographer, biologist; Edward Burtynsky, photographer; Georges Laraque, commentator, former athlete; Dr. Harvey Locke, conservationist; Jennifer Baichwal, filmmaker; Professor John Bemrose, Victoria College, University of Toronto; Dr. John England, O.C., F.R.S.C., professor emeritus, earth and atmospheric sciences; Dr. Martin Sharpe – earth scientist; Nicholas de Pencier, filmmaker; Paul Nicklen, photojournalist, marine biologist; Dr. Peter Abrams, F.R.S.C., professor emeritus, ecology & evolutionary biology; Robert Bateman, C.M., O.B.C., artist; Shelton Dupreez, filmmaker; Tzeporah Berman, environmental activist; and William Shatner, O.C., actor.

More information regarding the consultation and how to participate can be found here.

Quick Facts:

  • Studies indicate between 25,000 and 50,000 African elephants have been poached annually in recent decades, and even the lowest estimate exceeds the elephant birth rate, thereby posing a direct threat to these populations.
  • In March of 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and declared the African forest elephant to be Critically Endangered and the African savanna elephant to be Endangered.
  • In 2016, delegates to the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)agreed in a resolution recommending that, “all Parties and non-Parties in whose jurisdiction there is a legal domestic market for ivory that is contributing to poaching or illegal trade, take all necessary legislative, regulatory and enforcement measures to close their domestic markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory as a matter of urgency.” Repeated government seizures of elephant ivory in Canada are irrefutable evidence of illegal ivory trade in this nation and likely represent a fraction of existing illegal trade.
  • The African Elephant Coalition, comprised of 32 African nations (including 29 elephant range states) states, “any supply of ivory, including that within otherwise legal domestic markets, inherently increases the risk to elephant populations and local communities, due to the opportunity it creates for the laundering of illegal ivory under the guise of legality.”
  • Canada’s top trading partners, including the United States, China and the United Kingdom have closed their elephant ivory markets in response to declining elephant populations.
  • In addition to elephant ivory trade, Canada allows the import of elephant tusks and parts from trophy hunts. Approximately 300 African elephant tusks—representing 150 elephants—were legally imported into Canada from 2010-2018.
  • 94% of Canadians support an elephant ivory trade ban (Insights West, 2020) and a public petition calling for a Canadian ban on elephant ivory trade has amassed over 600,000 signatures.


Media Contact: Michael Bernard: 613-371-5170;

An historic moment in the fight to end cruel fur fashion, says Humane Society International

Humane Society International / Canada

Nathan Hobbs/

MONTREAL—Canada Goose has today announced that it will end the use of all fur in its products. The brand will end the purchase of fur by the end of 2021 and end manufacturing products with fur by the end of 2022.

Rebecca Aldworth, Humane Society International/Canada’s executive director, responds: “We applaud Canada Goose for taking this compassionate and fashion-forward decision to end its relationship with fur. This is an historic moment in the fight to end cruel fur fashion. Canada Goose’s trademark parka jackets with coyote fur trim can now be replaced with fur-free garments that symbolise sustainable, cruelty-free fashion fit for the twenty first century consumer. This is a major step forward for animal protection and also a sign of changing consumer habits. Clearly, the future of fashion is fur free.”


Media Contact: Wendy Higgins, director of international media:

Policies developed in partnership with HSI/Canada will come into effect by end of year

Humane Society International / Canada

Fox in the snow
Robert Postma/Alamy

MONTREAL—Holt Renfrew has announced an impressive suite of new sustainability commitments, joining the rapidly growing collection of retailers and fashion labels who are opting for sustainably and ethically sourced materials.

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, stated:

“Holt Renfrew’s progressive suite of sustainability commitments, including ending the sale of animal fur and exotic animal skins, is a tremendous step forward for animal protection and also a sign of changing consumer habits. Today’s consumers are increasingly informed and motivated to ensure that their purchases are cruelty-free and sustainable. We commend Holt Renfrew for these progressive commitments and the company’s leadership role in reflecting compassion in fashion. Clearly, the future of fashion is fur free.”


Media Contact: Michael Bernard, HSI/Canada, deputy director: 613-371-5170;

Sodexo Canada will convert 20% of its current ingredients purchasing to plant-based to improve animal welfare, sustainability, and human health in the next few years.

Humane Society International / Canada

Ruben Rapetti/Sodexo Canada Scalloped Potatoes prepared by Chef Ruben Rapetti during one of HSI/Canada’s plant-based trainings with Sodexo Canada.

MONTREAL—Sodexo Canada and Humane Society International/Canada are excited to announce a new development in their national partnership: Sodexo Canada has signed onto the Forward Food Pledge, committing to transition 20% of its protein purchases across Canada to plant-based. To achieve this goal, HSI/Canada is supporting Sodexo Canada by providing culinary trainings, recipes, and menu development to Sodexo’s culinary team across Canada.

“Health and wellness are at the heart of our diverse food offer and increases awareness to improving animal welfare. Together with Humane Society International/Canada 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.

“Our Love of Food program 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.

Riana Topan, campaign manager for HSI/Canada, says, “We are delighted to be partnering with Sodexo to increase their plant-based and plant-forward menu options, which will save an estimated 510,000 animals each year, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health of their clients and meet Canadians’ unprecedented demand for delicious, environmentally and animal-friendly food choices. Sodexo is setting a meaningful example for the foodservice industry in Canada by taking the Forward Food Pledge for every one of its accounts that serve food and working to reduce its use of animal proteins by 20% over the next two years.”

This transformative target and milestone make the foodservice industry in Canada more compassionate, sustainable, and nutritious.


Media Contacts:

First Nations, animal protection groups, epidemiologists call on BC Government to Act with urgency

Humane Society International / Canada

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals A male mink at a fur farm. 

VANCOUVER—In the wake of a 3rd outbreak of COVID-19 on a factory mink fur farm in British Columbia, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), concerned infectious disease specialists, the BC SPCA, the Fur-Bearers, and Humane Society International/Canada are calling on the BC Government to act now to end fur farming.

Over the past year, more than 400 outbreaks of COVID-19—and mutations of the virus—have occurred on factory fur farms globally, with many nations taking decisive action to stop fur farming in their jurisdictions.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC stated, “We are renewing our call for an end to fur farming in BC. This industry not only goes against Indigenous  values of wildlife stewardship and conservation, but also has proven to be an unmanageable threat to public health. The unnecessary and deeply troubling suffering minks are subjected to — lifelong confinement in cramped and filthy cages — only promotes the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections.”

Dr. Jan Hajek, infectious diseases specialist at Vancouver General Hospital stated: “Clearly the measures put in place by the BC Government have failed to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks on large mink breeding facilities. Given the very real threat of viral mutations and the transmission of virus between animals and people in these facilities, the BC Government should now act decisively, prohibit and end industrial fur farming in the interest of public health and animal welfare, and provide mink breeders with financial assistance and support to transition out of this industry.”

Dr. Sara Dubois, BC SPCA Chief Scientific Officer, said “Having been on BC fur farms and seen the conditions firsthand, I can attest that the practice is inherently inhumane and subjects animals wild in nature to treatment that no BC resident would tolerate. Fur farming exists in direct opposition to the values of British Columbians and the continuation of this industry would present unacceptable outcomes for both animals and people.”

Lesley Fox, executive director of the Fur-Bearers, said “Despite repeated calls for the BC Government to stop restocking of fur farms in the wake of COVID-19 outbreaks, no action was taken. This latest outbreak is a direct consequence of government catering to industry interests at the expense animal welfare, public health, and the BC economy. The BC Government must act now to shut down this industry for good.”

Kelly Butler, HSI/Canada wildlife campaigner, stated “The world community is taking urgent action to end fur farming because it is inherently inhumane, environmentally destructive, and poses a grave public health risk. More than 20 countries have already stopped fur farming within their jurisdictions and the BC Government must follow the lead of these nations and end this cruel, high risk, outdated and needless industry.”


Dec. 2020: COVID outbreak occurs on a BC fur farm.

Dec. 2020: The Fur-Bearers, HSI/Canada, BC SPCA and infectious disease experts call on BC government to end fur farming.

Dec. 2020: COVID outbreak occurs on a second BC fur farm, at least 200 mink dead.

Jan. 2021: The Fur-Bearers, HSI/Canada, BC SPCA and infectious disease expert meet with BC Agriculture Minister and government officials and again call on BC government to end fur farming.

Jan. 2021: 1,000 mink culled on BC fur farm after outbreak.

Jan. 2021: David Suzuki and other scientists call for an end to fur farming in BC.

March 2021: Breeding resumes in BC despite previous COVID outbreaks.

April 2021: Union of BC Indian Chiefs calls for a moratorium on fur farming in the province.

April 2021: Infectious disease experts and BC doctors appeal to Ministry of Health about spillover risks.


  • Over 20 countries have stopped fur farming, including Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
  • British Columbia currently has 11 fur farms in operation. 10 mink farms, 1 chinchilla farm. All mink farms are located in the Fraser Valley.
  • Since 2014, British Columbians have provided at least $6.5 million dollars in subsidies through the AgriStability benefits to B.C. fur farmers.
  • A 2020 poll conducted by BC public opinion firm Research Co., found that 85% of the population of BC are opposed to killing animals for their fur.
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organisation For Animal Health (OIE), and the Word Health Organization (WHO) published a risk assessment for fur farms: SARS-CoV-2 in animals used for fur farming: GLEWS+ risk assessment. The risk assessment identified Canada has having a “very likely” likelihood of introduction and spread of SARS-CoV-2 within fur farms, and a “likely” likelihood of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from fur farms to susceptible wildlife populations.


Media contact: Michael Bernard, Deputy Director, HSI/Canada: 613.371.5170,

Humane Society International / Canada


MONTREAL—Iconic Italian fashion designer Valentino is the latest major fashion house to drop fur from its collections and shut down its fur subsidiary, Valentino Polar. The company’s fur-free policy is part of its efforts to redefine and reinvigorate the brand, which will phase out fur by the end of the year. Humane Society International, which together with the Humane Society of the United States met with Valentino in 2019 to discuss its fur policy, welcomes the announcement.

According to Jacopo Venturini, CEO of Valentino: “The fur-free stance is perfectly in-line with the values of our company. We are moving full-steam ahead in the research for alternative materials in view of a greater attention to the environment for the upcoming collections.”

Kelly Butler, wildlife campaigner for Humane Society International/Canada, said: “HSI/Canada congratulates Valentino for joining the growing list of leading fashion companies that understand that consumers want nothing to do with animal cruelty. The commercial slaughter of wild animals for their fur has no place in the 21st century and brands and retailers should align their policy with consumers’ values if they want to remain successful in a world that cares about animals and their wellbeing.”

This announcement follows other recent fur-free announcements by Saks Fifth Avenue, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga. Valentino joins a rapidly expanding group of fashion designers dropping fur, including Prada, Gucci, Armani, Versace, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, DKNY, Burberry and Chanel.


Media contact: Michael Bernard, Deputy Director, HSI/Canada: 613.371.5170,

Dozens of dogs rescued from dog meat industry headed to HSI/Canada’s emergency shelter

Humane Society International

Jean Chung for HSI A dog is kept in a cage at a former dog meat farm in Yongin, South Korea, on Friday, April 16, 2021.

SEOUL—Korean animal protection groups have joined forces with Humane Society International/Korea to save 50 dogs from being euthanized on a dog meat farm in Yongin city after the facility was closed down by the authorities. The dogs were found by the rescuers locked up in barren metal cages without water or proper food, after the four farmers running the farm had moved off the property following a demolition order by local officials. The farm had been operating in breach of the national Animal Protection Act. HSI/Korea, LIFE, KoreanK9Rescue and Yongin Animal Care Association stepped in and worked together with the local authorities to save the dogs so that the structures could be demolished. These rescued dogs, along with dozens rescued from previous operations, are currently being cared for in South Korea, but will soon be sent to Canada and the United States for further assessment, veterinary care, rehabilitation and eventually adoption.

Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s campaign manager, said “These dogs really needed our help because they would have been euthanized by the authorities without a rescue plan. We knew we had to act fast to save them, so it was wonderful that HSI, LIFE, KK9K and YACA all worked so well together as a team to get these dogs out. These efforts show how much passion there is in South Korea to end the dog meat industry. These dogs were in a pitiful state, skinny and frightened and existing in terrible conditions. It was shocking to see the slaughter area on site too with abandoned electrocution equipment and knives. I am horrified to think how many dogs lost their lives there. The sooner we can end the dog meat industry, the sooner we can see an end to such pitiful scenes of animal suffering.”

Ewa Demianowicz, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada, said: “We are happy to help our colleagues in South Korea end the cruel dog meat trade by welcoming the dogs rescued from these horrible facilities at our emergency shelter near Montreal. HSI/Canada will provide veterinary and behavioural care for these dogs and will, seek loving adoptive families for them. These dogs have endured tremendous suffering and our team is thrilled to be bringing them to safety and helping them recover from their physical and psychological trauma.”

In-Seob Sim, president of LIFE, said: “It has been 30 years since the Animal Protection Act was established in Korea, however still so many animals are not protected properly. Government officials should make and implement policies to ban the slaughter of dogs for food. We should no longer subject this misery on future generations of dogs.”

Hyun Yu Kim, founder of KoreanK9Rescue, said: “It is significant that all these dogs are being given the chance of a new life instead of being euthanized or killed at the slaughter house. However, there are still countless dogs out there bred for meat who are still suffering. We are calling for urgent action from the government to introduce laws to ban the dog meat trade and protect dogs like these.”

Miyeon Ki, Yongin Animal Care Association, said: “I am overwhelmed by this life-saving mission for the 50 dogs who have escaped first the crisis of brutal slaughter for dog meat and then the threat of death by euthanasia, but have dramatically found a chance to live again. I think the effort to save lives in any difficult situation is the faith of animal rescue group.”

Yang-Jin Cho, Animal Protection Division, Yongin city said: “The city officials really felt bad for these dogs and hoped that something could be arranged to give the dogs the best chance. So we are really happy that these animal groups were able to help and give the dogs a future.”

Humane Society International/Korea, which has closed down 17 dog meat farms in the country, is campaigning for legislation in South Korea to end the dog meat trade. A recent opinion poll commissioned by HSI/Korea and conducted by Nielsen shows growing support for a ban on the dog meat trade, with nearly 84% of South Koreans saying they don’t or won’t eat dog, and almost 60% supporting a legislative ban on the trade. To date, HSI/Canada has sheltered and found homes for over 500 dogs coming from these dog meat farm closures.

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+).

Download photos and videos of the rescue.


Media Contact: Ewa Demianowicz: 514-575-3499;

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