TERRIFIED PUPS FARMED Saved
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.”
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
Lola pets one of saved dogs