TER­RI­FIED PUPS FARMED Saved

Irish Sunday Mirror - - NEWS - BY LEWIS PAN­THER

THEY hud­dle to­gether in cramped cages, whin­ing and shiv­er­ing in the bit­ter cold weather – des­tined to be served in bowls of soup and stew at the Win­ter Olympics.

But th­ese piti­ful pooches were the lucky ones, given a last-minute re­prieve from slaugh­ter in a bid to close a bar­baric dog meat farm.

An­i­mal aid work­ers had good rea­son to cel­e­brate as they hugged the ex­cited an­i­mals af­ter Hu­mane So­ci­ety In­ter­na­tional (HSI) per­suaded the owner to give up his busi­ness, help­ing him to start a dif­fer­ent trade.

His de­ci­sion saved 90 pups and fully grown dogs from bru­tal death by elec­tro­cu­tion be­fore be­ing eaten at lo­cal restau­rants 40 min­utes away at the Win­ter Olympic Vil­lage in South Korea. The an­i­mals joined 1,300 oth­ers res­cued so far by HSI – but it is a drop in the ocean in a coun­try no­to­ri­ous for its ca­nine cui­sine.

Urg­ing Sun­day Mir­ror pet lovers to back their cam­paign to ban dog meat from menus, HSI’S Wendy Hig­gins said: “There are around 2.5 mil­lion across South Korea suf­fer­ing just like the ones our HSI res­cue team is with now. “And they are re­ly­ing on us, the Kore­ans and the global com­mu­nity to change their fate.

“As the watches the ath­letes in Pyeongchang, let’s not for­get nearby there will be dogs cow­er­ing in wire cages, not know­ing whether to­day is their day to die.”

BROTHS

There were mov­ing scenes at the farm as the an­i­mals were re­leased from their cages and pet­ted by the res­cue team.

And it was seemed hard to be­lieve they could have ended up in broths and noo­dle soups mar­keted as health­boost­ing foods by many South Korean restau­rants.

Wendy added: “This will be the 11th dog meat farm we’ve per­ma­nently closed. But the strate­gic pur­pose of th­ese res­cues goes be­yond num­bers saved. It’s to demon­strate to the gov­ern­ment more and more dog meat farm­ers want to get out of the trade as they recog­nise it’s a dy­ing in­dus­try.

“At­ti­tudes are be­gin­ning to change – es­pe­cially among younger Kore­ans who are far less likely to eat dog meat and far more likely to have dogs as com­pan­ions.” Yet change will not be quick. In the run-up to the Games, South Korean author­i­ties at­tempted to quell world­wide crit­i­cism by of­fer­ing 12 ma­jor food out­lets sub­si­dies in re­turn for tak­ing dog meat off menus. But when it was re­placed by pork in their tra­di­tional dishes, many saw sales plum­met and only two re­main signed up to the deal.

So the hor­ror goes on in farms like this. Nara Kim, HSI Korea’s anti-dog meat cam­paign man­ager, said: “It’s bit­terly cold here and the wind rips through th­ese wire cages con­stantly, es­pe­cially at night when the tem­per­a­ture plum­mets.

“I’ve vis­ited so many aw­ful dog meat farms as part of my HSI work, and it al­ways makes me so sad. When we got to the farm, many of the dogs were des­per­ate to make con­tact and in­stantly re­laxed when we talked softly to them and showed them kind­ness. Oth­ers were too ter­ri­fied to trust us and hid at the back of their cage. “My heart breaks to see this suf­fer­ing in my coun­try, and I’m proud to be a part of this pro­gramme that aims to find a so­lu­tion to end it. “Cru­elty can never be ex­cused as cul­ture, and most young peo­ple here want noth­ing to do with dog meat.” Lola Web­ber, an­other HSI cam­paigner in­volved in the ne­go­ti­a­tions to free the an­i­mals, said: “The deaf­en­ing, fran­tic bark­ing of the dogs, the bit­ing cold, and the

PITI­FUL Sad-eyed pris­oner CAGED

Dogs wait­ing to die at the meat farm SCARED Some dogs shrunk back from res­cue

YOU’RE SAFE

Lola pets one of saved dogs

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