‘Blood dripping’ from slaughtered dogs… Daegu’s Chilsung market’s ‘Dog meat alley’
Cut up pieces kept at room temperature, food poisoning risk in this hot weather
Afternoon of July 19, North Daegu’s Chilsung market also known as ‘Dog meat alley’. In a scorching heat exceeding 30 ℃, the butchered dog meat are displayed without refrigeration in front of restaurant entrances. Blood was dripping from the dog meat but out of approximately 10 dog meat restaurants in this alley, none were equipped with refrigeration case like the ones butcher shops use.
When a man in his 40s asked “Don’t these meat get spoiled in this heat?”, the restaurant owner answered “There is ice underneath the meat and all the dogs slaughtered today gets sold today so there’s nothing to worry.”
In addition, as each of these restaurants displays pieces of butchered dogs in front of their restaurants as if they are competing with each other, the unique bloody smell of dogs and the unaesthetic view is causing frowns upon people’s faces. It’s enough to annoy other merchants in this market. A merchant who runs a store complained, “Whenever I walk pass the ‘Dog meat ally’, I feel the abomination and don’t know where to lay my eyes.”
As the summertime storage and sanitation management of dog meat restaurant is in shambles threatening our health with food poisoning and more, because of the inadequacy of laws, enforcement is hardly being conducted.
The experts are warning the risks about food poisoning when the dog meat is stored and sold in high temperature in summertime. An official with the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries stated, “Even when the ice is placed underneath, if you store the dog meat in a high temperature, it can spoil easily and can cause food poisoning.
However, the problem is unlike the beef, pork and chicken, dog meat is not classified as livestock so the unsanitary dog meat sales can’t be supervised. Dog is excluded from the livestock designated as edible based on the Livestock sanitation management law’s implementation ordinance. Currently, the Animal protection law states that ‘the slaughter must be done in such a way as to minimize the pain’. However, there is no rules for punishment in the law.
Because of this, regulatory institutions such as local governments, Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Food and Drug Administration inspection agency can’t even understand the exact status let alone the supervision of dog meat distribution and sales process. An official from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries stated, “To conduct research of exact status and to regulate the industry, dog must be classified as edible livestock in the Livestock sanitation and management law. However, because of the strong opposition from the animal protection organizations and some citizens, we are not able to implement this plan and as for now, we do not have ways to crack down on this industry.”