Dispute over the Gupo Livestock Market’s violation of the School Health Act
The Busan Gupo Livestock Market (also known as Gupo Dog Meat Market) is being pestered by the dispute over its violation of the School Health Act.
On April 28, the Busan Bukbu Office of Education sent official correspondence to the Busan Bukgu District Office and the Bukbu Police Station demanding that the Gupo Livestock Market be relocated for being in violation of the School Health Act.
The Gupo Livestock Market is in violation of the School Health Act because of its distance from the Dugchun Elementary School. (http://dugchun.es.kr/) The School Health Act specifies the area within the straight-line distance of 200m from the walls of elementary, middle, and high school educational facilities as a Relative Cleanup Zone. Within this zone, permits or licenses are limited by any business that may cause problem with sanitation and children’s education.
The distance from the entryway of the Gupo Livestock Market to the main entrance of Dugchun Elementary School is less than 200m, which means it is within the Relative Cleanup Zone and therefore in violation of the School Health Act.
Because livestock markets pose risks of infection from the germs generated when the animals are slaughtered and are considered sanitation hazards, these types of business are strictly prohibited within the Relative Cleanup Zone. Consequently, the Gupo Livestock Market must relocate outside of the Relative Cleanup Zone.
However, the Gupo Livestock Market evolved naturally over time, and as a result is not classified as a formal livestock market by the Korea Federation of Livestock Cooperatives. Moreover, dogs are not classified as livestock. Although it is operating as a livestock market, it is unclear as to whether the law can be applied here because it is not a formally classified livestock market.
It is also difficult to classify the Gupo Livestock Market as a wastewater discharge facility. While facilities that discharge more than 20 tons of water per day are not allowed within the Relative Cleanup Zone, a representative from the Bukgu District Office’s Environmental sanitation department has stated, “We have identified that there are no businesses that violate the wastewater discharge limitation within the Gupo Livestock Market.”
Dog meat traders claim they are being treated unfairly. They argue that the livestock market should not be evaluated based on today’s regulation because the market was naturally formed long before the Cleanup Zone concept was introduced. Young-Soon Park, the president of the Gupo Livestock Market Trade Association, said, “Telling us now that the Gupo Livestock Market which formed over a long period of time is in violation of the laws is a disregard for our right to live.”
Busan Gupo Dog Meat Market
Busan Gupo Dog Meat Market in 2014 – Part 1
Busan Gupo Dog Meat Market in 2014 – Part 2
Busan Gupo Dog Meat Market in 2014 – Part 3
Busan Gupo Dog Meat Market in 2014 – Part 4