50 dogs removed from South Korea meat farm recovering in Canada
Humane Society International Canada says this is the 10th dog meat facility closed in South Korea since 2014
After the humane society shut down a dog meat farm in South Korea, about 50 of the 170 canines were brought to Canada, where they will eventually be placed in homes.
The dogs, many of them malnourished and ill or injured, received veterinarian care and convalesced at a temporary shelter in Cambridge, Ont., and are now going to animal shelters in other parts of Ontario and Quebec, where they will be available for adoption.
"The dogs were so skinny. They were very rarely getting food and water," she said. "They were covered in open sores all over their body from living on the wire floors.
"They just were suffering so much. They're really frightened, really scared. But we managed to get all 170 out."
Unregulated, legal, industry
Humane Society International said this is the tenth dog meat facility in South Korea closed since 2014. The dog meat industry also exists in other parts of Asia, including China, Vietnam and Cambodia.
"It's something that grew out of a tradition a long time ago into a large commercial industry," said Aldworth.
She admits that while the rescue effort was due to the "horrendous conditions" on the farm in Namyangju, a North American sensitivity to dogs as pets does come into play.
"Of course, dogs also hold a very special place in our society and increasingly in society in Asia. So the campaign to end the dog meat trade is actually driven by Asian animal protection groups," said Aldworth.
"International groups [like Humane Society International] are really there to support, to help with closures of farms, to bring dogs overseas when local placement can't be arranged and to create international pressure on local governments to end this horrendous industry."
Spotlight on South Korea in 2018
With the winter Olympics less than two months away in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Aldworth hopes their efforts will pressure the government there to shut down the dog meat trade entirely — but she recognizes that means helping individual farmers find new work.
With files from the CBC's Joe Pavia