While the 2018 Winter Olympics have come to a close, American skier Gus Kenworthy has recently shed light on dog farms in South Korea. During his time in South Korea, Kenworthy visited one of the 17,000 dog farms in the country.
The Humane Society International (HSI) estimates that at least 2 million dogs are slaughtered and eaten each year in South Korea. The practice of dog meat is thousands of years old, and many older citizens believe it aids virility. While many younger citizens are against it, there is still an alarming 2.5 million dogs being raised for food in South Korea.
The HSI is continually working hard to shut down dog farms, and over the past three years, the society has permanently 10 South Korea dog meat farms thus rescuing 1,200 dogs. These rescued animals are now in loving homes within the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Participating dog farms who opt to shut down enter a contract with the HSI, who works with the owners to build other farms such as water delivery or chili pepper farming.
During his time at the dog farm, Kenworthy was shocked at the dogs’ living conditions and shed light on the issue through a post on Instagram.
“The dogs here are malnourished and physically abused, crammed into tiny wire-floored pens, and exposed to the freezing winter elements and scorching summer conditions,” Kenworthy said. “Despite the beliefs of some, these dogs are no different from the ones we call pets back home. Some of them were even pets at one time and were stolen or found and sold into the dog meat trade."
With the help of the Humane Society, the dog farm Kenworthy visited will be shut down and all 90 dogs will find loving homes. Kenworthy even chose to adopt one of the dogs himself, naming her Beemo.
“I cannot wait to give her the best life possible,” Kenworthy said. “…I’m hoping to use this visit as an opportunity to raise awareness to the inhumanity of the dog meat trade and the plight of dogs everywhere.”
If you are interested in learning more about dog meat trade or how you can take action, visit the HSI’s website!
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