Naju, S. Korea-‘Legal Blind Spot’ Dog Slaughter • Dog Auction Market, Occupying Local Resident’s Rest Area
Dog Meat Trade in ‘Legal Blind Spot’ Dog Slaughter • Dog Auction Market, Occupying Local Resident’s Rest Area
A village in Naju, Jeollanam-do Province. 5 years ago, illegal dog slaughterhouses and auction market have quietly moved in the local resident’s rest area next to the village’s guardian tree and has been running their illegal business ever since but there is no enforcement from the authority.
May 31, at the entrance to the rural village adjacent to the Youngsan River bicycle road, it is bustling with activities of the dog trucks and the traders trying to sell their dogs.
Ahead of peak season for dog meat soup, ‘Meat Dog Auction Market’ extended their operating hours to 11:30am and it was full of restaurant owners and wholesalers trying to secure enough inventory.
What is shocking is that there were fresh evidences of illegal dog slaughter and the unbearable foul stench at an obscure area next to the 200 plus years old tree in front of the village designated and being protected as ‘Old Big Tree’ by the city of Naju.
Only few steps away at a vacant land next to the Youngsan river bicycle road, from unknown point in time, standing are the rows of dog cages with dogs cramped inside waiting to be slaughtered.
The local villagers said that they are suffering from the stench and noise since a dog auction market quietly moved here from neighboring HamPyeong A Township by the outsiders five years ago.
Local resident Mr. B (42 years old) said, “In the beginning only the auction trade took place here and starting few years ago on the spot illegal slaughter started to take place. What do you think is inside that cold storage next to the dog cages?”
Another resident Mr. C (46 years old) said, “Since last year local residents filed complaints to the city about the problem of barking noises at night and the stench, but there hasn’t been any definitive action from the city. Group of young man in the village is planning to take action to resolve this problem in the near future.”
However, the city of Naju which holds the enforcement authority isn’t motivated to take any actions. To resolve this situation, environment management department and livestock department have put their heads together but so far they could not find a definitive evidence to crackdown so they are in the process of seeking alternatives.
Left in the ‘Legal Blind Spot’, illegal dog slaughter/dog auction markets which is adding to the suffering to the village residents is not a problem unique to this village.
Based on the existing Law on the Prevention of Contagious Animal Diseases, Livestock Industry Act Enforcement Rule and Veterinarian Law, dogs are categorized as livestock, but under the Livestock Products Sanitary Control Act which becomes the legal ground for banning slaughter for human consumption and distribution, dogs are not recognized as livestock making effective enforcement difficult.
This legal loophole is fueling the illegal dog slaughter and corruptive distribution and making the need for enactment of pertinent law urgent.
Meanwhile, it is found that the government has been neglecting the maintenance of pertinent laws after excluding dogs from livestock designation during the 1988 Seoul Olympics conscious of international criticism.
Reporter Changwoo Lee.
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