OXFORDSHIRE, UK: An international charity is hoping South Korea's hosting of the Winter Olympic Games in 2018 will encourage Seoul to close dog meat farms throughout the country.
The Humane Society International (HSI) is working with animal welfare groups across South Korea to end the trade by evacuating the dogs and helping farmers to switch to a more productive crop. Wendy Higgins from the HSI told Channel NewsAsia that the lead up to the Games could be decisive.
“The opportunity is obviously there, to phase out the industry and it’s our opportunity to demonstrate to the government that organisations such as HSI are highly responsible and very sensitive to the cultural situation in South Korea and that we want to be part of the solution in partnership with a great number of South Korea animal protection organisations who are very actively engaged in campaigning also to end the dog meat trade,” she said.
Recently eight of the dogs rescued from a farm in Gangwon province were flown to the United Kingdom and have all found new homes. One of them is Bindi, whose new owner Pip Tomson told Channel NewsAsia that Bindi’s progress has been remarkable.
Bindi, rescued from Gangwon province in South Korea, now lives happily with her new owner in the UK. (Photo courtesy of HSI)
“I’ve had her a month now and the transformation really has been incredible, there’s still a long way to go but she has gone from being this timid little creature who would just scurry away at the first sight of you, into a dog that’s becoming more and more confident all the time,” said Tomson.
“Critics might argue it is not for Western charities to dictate what animals can be eaten, however HSI says it hopes its work will prompt people to think about the ethical treatment of all animals.”
Meanwhile, Bindi is enjoying a new life thousands of miles away as a much loved family pet.