Animal lovers and advocates are rejoicing after Moran Market, South Korea’s largest dog meat trade market, has banned the slaughter of dogs.
Starting next week, all 22 dog meat vendors will begin removing and breaking down their dog cages and slaughter facilities, with the deadline for completion to be May.
Seongnam will provide financial support and help these business owners transition into a new trade of work.
“This may be the beginning of (a long path toward) solving issues surrounding dog meat consumption. (The agreement) will hopefully eradicate the negative image of Moran Market,” Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung said at a press conference, according to The Korean Herald.
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Lee also said, “Seongnam City will take the initiative to transform South Korea’s image since ‘the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.’”
Animal welfare advocates see this as a big win and a move in the right direction.
“Seongnam city took a big step toward changing the dog meat industry here,” Jang In-young, who is part of the Korean Animal Welfare Association, told outlet.
Jang added that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.
“But we will have to constantly monitor dog meat shops in the market (to see) if they really stop slaughtering dogs and change their business (after the agreement),” he said. “The city government will also need to keep pushing the idea to ultimately ban the sales of dog meat here.”
Dog meat vendors at Moran Market, and beyond, have come under attack by animal-welfare groups, the media and animal lovers all around the world for the brutality of the slaughter process, which often includes extended periods of beating, electrocution and hanging.
Currently, there is no laws that outright make consuming, butchering or selling dog meat illegal, but this could spark a change.