A new undercover investigation into a commercial dog meat auction house in South Korea found hundreds of dogs being kept in cages.
Over the summer, the nonprofit animal welfare organization Lady Freethinker captured footage from the Nakwon Auction House in the city of Namyangju, which is believed to be the largest remaining dog auction house in the country. According to the investigation, the auction house is being advertised as a dog breeding facility.
At the market, the investigation found that over 200 dogs were being kept in metal crates and cages — and that three to four dogs were being kept in each cage.
Both the auction and investigation took place during “boknal” days, believed to be the three hottest days of the year. During this time, “dog meat is consumed out of a mistaken belief that it will have a cooling effect,” according to a press release from the nonprofit.
“It’s shocking to see these large-scale dog meat auctions still taking place,” said Nina Jackal, founder and president of Lady Freethinker. “Dogs suffer immensely in inhumane conditions as they’re raised for meat and when they’re slaughtered. The majority of Koreans do not eat dog meat, and we urge the South Korean government to end this cruel and outdated trade for good.”
Although the industry has become increasingly less popular over the years — with a 2018 survey showing that 70 percent of South Koreans said they would not eat dog meat in the future — dog meat farming still remains legal in South Korea.
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Along with a number of animal activist groups, including Humane Society International, Lady Freethinker has been campaigning for years to end the dog meat trade in South Korea.
The nonprofit is currently sponsoring 20 taxi ads that read “Dogs are not food but family” and their petition calling for the end of the meat trade has gotten 88,000 signatures.