In the shadow of the Olympics, a brutal trade in dog meat

(CNN)Untold millions will be cheering on Olympic professional athletes from worldwide as they contend in Pyeongchang, South Korea. While those professional athletes are skating and snowboarding and curling their method into Olympic history, not far away, something ominous is occurring: Dogs are being butchered for their meat at more than 17,000 canine meat farms around that nation, according to Humane Society International .

In South Korea and somewhere else in Asia, farmers raise pet dogs to massacre them for their meat.
Until the day they are eliminated, in some cases extremely, canines farmed for meat are left alone in metal cages just like chicken cages. They are provided water simply when a day and fed food scraps. They have no human contact, which dogs both requirement and long for. No love. No medical attention.
      And it’s all legal.

      In Asia, pet dog meat belongs to the culture. It’s accepted and delighted in by numerous. The Humane Society International states an approximated 30 million canines are eliminated each year for their meat. In South Korea, HSI has actually now closed down 10 pet meat farms and saved more than 1,200 pet dogs, HSI director of global media, Wendy Higgins, informs me. This is achieved by convincing the farmers to accept discover a brand-new method to make a living.
      In December, our cams were with a group from HSI at one of those saves in Namyangju, about an hour outside the capital of Seoul. They saved 170 pets from that farm alone, consisting of hounds, Chihuahuas and golden retrievers. In a troubling and weird twist, the owner of that farm informed us he has a pet for a family pet, in addition to his so-called “meat canines.”
      ” I enjoy all animals. … I am raising an English bulldog. … He has a lot character and is lovable. I’m going to look after him up until he dies,” Kim Young Hwan informed us.
        Annual pet dog meat celebration triggers outrage

      During CNN’s check out to the farm, Nara Kim, who handles HSI’s project versus pet meat farming in South Korea, informed us she might barely think her eyes when she initially went to a farm like the one in Namyangju.
      ” It was simply stunning due to the fact that the odor is actually bad, and the conditions that pet dogs remain in, it is simply awful. … The pets were so sweet. … They simply desire a connection. They simply desire some attention,” Kim stated.
      To prevent worldwide criticism over the practice of eliminating pets for human intake, South Korean authorities closed down some pet dog meat markets in the lead-up to the Olympic Games. At market, dogs are typically eliminated in public, either by hanging, beating or electrocution.
      But closing down the marketplaces briefly isn’t really enough for thousands opposed to this practice. A petition at requiring a boycott of the Winter Games over dog-eating practices has almost half a million signatures.
      And regardless of the partial market shutdown, federal government authorities have actually informed press reporters that a lot of dining establishments in Pyeongchang County, where the Games are being held, are choosing not to stop serving pet dog meat.
      Some professional athletes completing at the Games are making their voices heard on this problem. Olympic figure skater Meagan Duhamel of Canada saved her pet, Moo-tae, in 2017 from South Korea, and throughout these Winter Games, she wants to save more.
      She informed me, “Any meat farming is incorrect, whether it’s pets, pigs or cows. Naturally, in our culture in North America, butchering and consuming pets is up until now from our truth. We see pet dogs as buddies and male’s friend. We cannot picture anything bad occurring to our cherished family pets.”
      She is ideal: It’s not typically accepted in North America, though the massacre of pet dogs and felines for their meat is still legal in 44 US states .
      Duhamel hopes one day all the pet dog meat farms will be closed down for great, a huge job. The Humane Society International likewise is confident.
      Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy would likewise prefer to see the South Korean farms shuttered. He informed me, “I’m going to concentrate on my sport, and while I’m there, I ‘d like to raise and attempt awareness for the canines. … I would enjoy to bring a canine back.”
      In the United States, an expense presented by Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings that now has 232 co-sponsors is making its method through Congress to stop the domestic pet dog and feline meat trade.
      The costs, HR 1406, is referred to as the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act , and it is getting bipartisan assistance. It would change the Animal Welfare Act to avoid individuals from purposefully butchering a pet dog or feline for human intake. It likewise prohibits individuals from intentionally transferring, having, purchasing, contributing a pet or offering or feline to be eliminated for human usage.

      Last July, Rebecca Glenn-Dinwoodie, an attorney dealing with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, affirmed in a congressional instruction that the SPCA in Pennsylvania saved more than 150 pet dogs from specific death at an unlicensed kennel. The kennel’s owner, she stated “was rather upcoming about their function: They were predestined for the table.”
      I likewise affirmed on Capitol Hill about the pet and that expense meat sell South Korea. I shared my pet dog Gatsby’s story with members of Congress, consisting of Hastings.
      I cannot envision my sweet golden retriever puppy being someone’s supper! As it was, it took him a while to feel safe in our house and to trust us, however the effort has actually settled. He’s brought me a lot pleasure. When I look at his huge brown eyes, I melt.
      The brand-new owners of another sweet golden retriever called Sophia understand simply exactly what I’m speaking about. Sophia was caught at that farm we checked out outdoors Seoul up until the Humane Society International saved her. Now, she enjoys in her brand-new “permanently home” outside Philadelphia. Free to run in a huge yard. Free to have fun with other pet dogs. Free to snuggle by the fireplace.
      There’s a brilliant area of hope in all of this: The leader of South Korea just recently embraced a shelter canine saved from a meat farm. President Moon Jae-in is now the happy owner of a 4-year-old pooch, the very first “meat pet dog” to end up being a “very first canine.”
      One canine at a time …