Mayor Of Seoul Vows To Eradicate All Dog Slaughterhouses From The City
The mayor of Seoul has vowed to force all dog slaughterhouses out of the city.
Speaking on Saturday, Park Won-soon said he had already forced many slaughterhouses into closure in the South Korean capital and he would use whatever means he could to ensure there were none left.
According to the Korean Times, he said: "In the past, we had several dog butcher shops in Cheongnyangni, but I closed almost all of them down through various measures.
"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."
He also discussed the 'burden' he felt watching an animated film called Underdog, which highlights the issue of stray dogs living in the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea. Mr Won-soon said he went to see the film to 'find a way to raise the adoption rate for stray dogs' and encourage people not to abandon dogs.
He said: "Every year, 8,500 dogs are abandoned in Seoul and a quarter of them are euthanised because they are not adopted. I believe in building a peaceful world that is also a safe place for animals.
"I heard there are wild dogs on Mount Bukhan. I feel responsible for them, and this was a burden while watching the film."
He went on to elaborate on his belief in the inextricable nature of human rights and animal rights.
He added: "I published a thesis about animal rights when I was studying in England in 1991. Back then, I was a human rights lawyer and people condemned me for talking about animal rights when human rights are still not guaranteed. However, human rights are guaranteed in a society where animal rights are secured."
According to Korean Animal Rights Advocates, between 700,000 and one million dogs are eaten in the country per year. However, this figure is on the decline, as eating dog meat has become somewhat of a taboo among younger generations.
A 2017 survey found that 70 percent of South Koreans don't eat dog meat, though only 40 percent thought eating dog meat should be banned.
Last November, the country's largest dog slaughterhouse was closed down in Seongnam. The Taepyeong-dong complex was comprised of six slaughterhouses and had the capacity to hold hundreds of dogs at any given time.
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