Dogs destined to be EATEN in South Korea are finally saved after months in cages as coronavirus delayed their rescue
The Humane Society International's mission to save 70 dogs from the meat farm in Hongseong finally got underway after the farmer was convinced to quit the the dog meat industry.
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The rescue was originally scheduled for early March, but was brought to grinding halt when South Korea went into lockdown as the killer bug continued to spread.
Due to travel restrictions, the dog are still unable to fly to their final destinations in Canada and the US where they will eventually be adopted.
South Korea has recorded 256 death and 10,810 cases after deciding to lockdown early and aggressive contact tracing methods.
HSI has relocated them to a temporary boarding place where they will receive veterinary care.
Dog farmer Nakseon Kim bred dogs for nearly 40 years but due to the growing disgust in eating them as well as new regulations and court rulings – he was looking for a way out of the declining business.
Mr Kim said: "It may sound odd but I started dog farming because I like dogs. 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."
I earn nothing from this dog farm, and pressure from the government is increasing and it's not a good business at all.
Mr Kim bred Poodles, Beagles, Huskies, Golden retrievers, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas and Boston terriers for the meat trade and the puppy mill trade at his farm in Hongseong.
With the help of HSI, the farmer is now trading that in to grow cabbages and other vegetables.
Nara Kim, HSI'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."
Mr Kim's farm is the 16th of its kind to be closed since the charity's farmer transition program began in 2015.
Consuming dog meat has been declining in South Korea, and is banned or severely restricted in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.
In both Indonesia and Vietnam's capital city Hanoi pledged an end to the dog meat trade in 2018.
Last month, the Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai banned dog and cat meat consumption after a public statement by the Chinese government delcared dogs are considered companions and not livestock.
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