Seoul will attempt to stamp out the dog meat industry and close all dog butcheries, according to the city’s mayor.
Here in the West, we don’t eat dogs. That’s weird, gross, and more than a little sad for the dog. But over in Korea, dog is a controversial delicacy. According to Chosun.com, there are 2,862 dog farms as of 2017 and South Korea as a whole consumes somewhere between 780,000 and 1 million dogs per year.
Korean custom is to consume dog meat (also known as "Gaegogi") during the intense heat of the summer. There’s also some talk about dog meat being related to “male potency,” although you can pretty much Google any random noun and get some weird website relating it to “male potency,” so take that with a grain of salt.
Even though dog is a traditional dish in Korea, it’s certainly become a controversial subject in the modern era. Animal rights activists have been fighting for years to end the business of dog meat in South Korea, and it looks like they may have finally gotten a win.
Seoul mayor Park Won-soon recently went on the record saying that he would fight to permanently end the trade of dog meat in the country’s capital. He said he plans to either force the closure or move all dog slaughterhouses and any butcheries that carry dog meat.
"In the past, we had several dog butcher shops in Cheongnyangni [a burrow in Seoul], but I closed almost all of them down through various measures," Park said. "Currently, one or two dog slaughterhouses remain. I cannot force them to go out of business, so I will put pressure on them to move."
Park didn’t expand on what measures were used to close the dog butcher shops, but then again, nobody was complaining if the mayor used underhanded methods to stop the slaughter of dogs.
Park’s speech was shortly after he saw a screening of Underdog, which is a Korean animated feature film that shows stray dogs lost in the demilitarized zone. He also mentioned that he would like to raise the adoption rate of stray dogs in Seoul and prevent the euthanization of thousands of dogs every year that don’t get adopted.