Park Won-soon, Seoul mayor, announced last weekend of his plans to shut down all the remaining dog slaughterhouses in South Korea’s capital city.
He made the announcement after watching the screening of animated film, Underdog, which is a South Korean cartoon about the story of abandoned dogs directed by Lee Chun-baek and Oh Sung-yoon.
According to the Daily Mail UK, Park watched the film “to find a way to raise adoption rate for stray dogs’ and encourage South Koreans not to abandon their pet animals.
Park, who used to work as a human rights lawyer, added that he heard about the wild dogs in Mount Bukhan and felt responsible for them.
Dog meat trade tradition in South Korea
Most South Korean believed that a dog’s meat helps increase the virility in older men and some medical professionals even recommend dog meat as a medicine for patients recovering from their plastic surgeries, according to the South China Morning Post.
Considered as a healing food, dog meat is often served as a dog meat stew that is popularly eaten during boknal, which is considered the three hottest days of summer, according to SCMP.
South Korea tried numerous times to stop the trade, including the noteworthy move of South Korean president Moon Jae-in in 2017 when he adopted a former stray dog rescued from a dog meat farm.
Last year, they also shut the Taepyong-dong complex, which is a dog slaughterhouse at the south of Seoul, down last year.
“About one million animals find new owners, but 300,000 are abandoned each year,” said Moon, according to a report by the Yonhap news agency. “We need to pay more attention to abandoned animals and care for them as a society.”