#Animal Rights

The Treatment of Dogs and Cats in Korea.

Should the brutal treatment and death of a dog or cat concern us more than if the same were done to a cow, or a sheep, or a chicken. It shouldn't, but animals that the "Western world" looks upon as companion animals are treated very differently in Korea.

Many Koreans still believe that if one eats dog meat from dogs that have been tortured to death, it will make them more sexually active. The marketing of dog meat as a health food was initiated and perpetuated by the dog meat dealers to keep their billion dollar businesses going. The rationale behind savagely beating a dog to death lies in the primitiveness that when a dog is beaten they produce high levels of adrenaline hence the selling of their meat as a kind of "natural" viagra for impotence and vitality!

This adrenaline rush is achieved by hanging dogs from ropes on trees and leaving them to slowly strangle to death, and then while still alive, their fur is blowtorched off.

Cats do not hold any position of affection in Korean society. They are not eaten as dogs are but many attempts have been made to eradicate them, not by humane methods, but rather by beating the animals to death in sacks or, in some cases, boiling them alive in large pressure cookers to supply the insatiable demand for another "herbal" remedy - although clearly animals do not fall into this category.

The Korean government does not enforce its animal welfare laws so people make an assumption that farming dogs, slaughtering them and selling their meat is legal. It is not. The sale and cooking of dogs is illegal under Korea's food and sanitation laws.

Imagine being thrown into a cage full of other dogs. A cage so small there's no room to move and let alone stand. A cage so cramped there is no way you can get water or food .. assuming it was even provided to you. One day you are transported in the cage to a dog market.. your last journey, although you don't realise it.

You're pulled out of the cage by a rope tied around your neck and then held by that rope and beaten over and over again on the head with a metal stick...you're bruised, bleeding and concussed. you have no idea what fate has in store for you...you see a man approaching with a long stick..he jabs it into your side, you a feel a wave of electricity surge through your body. you're jabbed over and over again until your last grasps of air are extinguished from your body..

The dead, limp carcass of the dog is then transported again by motorcycle to the processing factory where eager purchasers look out for what they'll put on their dinner table tonight.

The lifeless body is dragged out of the cage and dumped into a huge pot of boiling water amongst other helpless dogs who have received the same fate. The pot is a machine with a fast whirlpool action that spins round and round to remove the fur off the tortured dog.

Once the fur has been removed (a delicacy in itself), the dog is scorched using a blowtorch. The process is now finally complete. The dog now, bearing little resemblance to anything other than a slab of meat is transported back to the shop...

Now, imagine being thrown into sack, pounded against the ground and thrown into a pot of boiling water - trying to scramble out of a pain that singes your body, only to be pushed back under water until you finally lose consciousness.

The pot is a large pressure cooker used to liquefy cats to produce a tonic unfoundedly believed to cure rheumatism and a variety of other ailments.

Now stop imagining. This is not fiction. This is real. What you have just read happened to over 2,600,000 dogs and cats in Korea last year...and if nothing is done, it will happen to over 2,600,000 dogs and cats in Korean again this year.

In fact, the torturing you've just imagined is only a fraction of the cruelty that occurs to dogs and cats in Korea. Cultural myth dictates that dog and cat meat/soups are cures for various ailments and that the more adrenalin you can circulate through an animal's body during its last moments of life ie through making the death a more painful and gruesome one, makes the meat 'taste better'. This encourages dog farmers to enhance the suffering of the dogs...a killing that is devoid of any humanity.

Korean culture as with many other Asian cultures embraces the condemning practice of slaughtering animals for their own consumption, regardless of how the animal suffers in the process. The distinction between the killings in the East and the killings in the West is that the West follow stricter guidelines as to the method of slaughtering and are more heavily regulated by Animal Welfare Laws.

In 1984, the Korean Ministry of Health did outlaw the sale of dog meat, however has done very little, if anything to enforce a law that was only introduced to satisfy the public outcry at the time.

We need to do something to raise the awareness of people living in these countries to a level where they think twice about the validity of their traditions and the means adopted to satisfy them. We need to challenge the way that Koreans currently view their companion animals and force the government to take a more proactive stance against these cruel death sentences.

Source: Korea Animal Protection Society (KAPS)

Please write a letter to the Korean government officials below to take a more active stance in fulfilling their governmental responsibilities in enforcing a law they have already introduced and thereby prosecute people who sell and slaughter cats and dogs for human consumption.

Korea is holding the World Cup next year and will therefore suffer greatly if they are seen to be treating their companion animals without humanity or regard for their welfare. We HAVE to put pressure on the Korean government to clean up their act now or else face international condemnation when the spotlight's on them during the World Cup. For the 2,600,000 plus dogs and cats in Korea awaiting their fate on death row.we owe it to them to put pen to paper and give up 5 minutes of our time to make a difference in this world.

We, the undersigned, petition to raise awareness of the treatment of dogs and cats in Korea. We call on the Korean government to enforce and improve its animal welfare laws.

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The The Treatment of Dogs and Cats in Korea petition to Appin was written by jayne o'connell and is in the category Animal Rights at GoPetition.