Response from Seoul Gangdong-gu Mayor
Sister City Campaign – Seoul Gangdong-gu, South Korea – Segovia, Spain
Friendship City Campaign – Seoul Gangdong-gu, South Korea – Willoughby, New South Wales, Australia
We appreciate the mayor’s effort in responding to our campaign. However, we are disappointed that his response is disingenuous, glossing over and concealing the truth. We responded to Mayor Lee informing him that we are able to access information regarding the dog meat industry in his district and urged him to take affirmative action to shut down the illegal dog meat trade.
We are grateful to all our supporters who have taken action, and a special thank you to Rudy for his
perseverance and dedication in helping us fight against this cruel industry.
Rudy in Seoul, South Korea, July 2017. Rudy traveled to Korea to protest against the Korea’s dog and cat meat cruelty.
Below is our response to Mayor Lee’s response:
Dear Mayor Lee Hae-Sik,
Thank you for responding to our campaign against the dog and cat meat trade in the Seoul Gangdong-gu District.
Our campaigns are based on facts and honest research. We have found that the illegal dog meat industry does indeed exist in Seoul Gangdong-gu and your district appears to be doing nothing about it.
Information on the dog meat industry in Seoul Gangdong-gu is easily accessible online and can be viewed around the world. A search on Naver shows that there are 23 dog meat restaurants within the district of Seoul Gangdong-gu. It’s possible that there are more that do not show up in this search: (https://map.naver.com/?query=%EC%84%9C%EC%9A%B8%20%EA%B0%95%EB%8F%99%EA%B5%AC%20%EB%B3%B4%EC%8B%A0%ED%83%95&type=SITE_1)
A search for businesses that operate under the name of “Health Food Shop,” which commonly sell dog soju (dog elixir), shows 72 results in and around Seoul Gangdong-gu: (https://map.naver.com/?query=%EC%84%9C%EC%9A%B8+%EA%B0%95%EB%8F%99%EA%B5%AC+%EA%B1%B4%EA%B0%95%EC%9B%90&type=SITE_1)
Please see the attached screenshots of the search results.
Also, here is a google search for “Seoul Gangdong-gu and Dog Meat Soup”: https://goo.gl/NqVK1i
Apart from the above maps showing dog meat businesses in Seoul Gangdong-gu, here are some blog pages that advertise these businesses:
Dog-meat consumption is not legal in South Korea. However, the majority of Koreans show a profound indifference to both the law and moral principles by doing nothing at all to stop the illegal dog-meat trade. Dogs are being brutally tortured and eaten as if it were completely legal.
The following link has a translation detailing the illegal status of the dog meat industry in Korea provided by the Korea Animal Rights Advocates:
(In Korean: https://www.ekara.org/activity/against/read/7537)
Therefore, all the restaurants in Seoul Gangdong-gu that sell dog meat/elixir products are operating illegally. What is Seoul Gangdong-gu doing to enforce the law and shut down these illegal businesses?
You claim there are no dog farms/slaughterhouses because there are no government records, regulations or oversight for dog farms/slaughterhouses in Korea. But that does not mean that dogs farms do not exist. Local dog meat businesses obtain dog meat from large factory farms or homes that breed dogs to make money. In reality, your government is aware of the dog meat industry but turns a blind eye to it, and no one is protecting dogs from cruel treatment and slaughter.
Mayor Lee, I grew up in Korea, and I’m fluent in Korean and very familiar with Korea’s dog meat industry. No one has challenged the Korean government regarding this illegal and cruel industry the way we are doing with the Sister/Friendship City campaigns because people do not want to upset Koreans. We have no choice but to continue our campaign because the Korean government will not take steps to end this horrific and illegal industry.
The solution is not to ignore the problem, deny the problem, or hide the problem. The solution is to fix the problem by ending the illegal dog and cat meat industry permanently.
Mayor Kim Man-Soo of Bucheon has taken steps to end the dog meat industry in his city. Perhaps you can contact Mayor Kim of Bucheon to discuss this issue and work together on a solution. (http://koreandogs.org/bucheon-mayor-kim/, http://koreandogs.org/nami-kims-meeting-bucheon-mayor-man-soo-kim/, http://koreandogs.org/bucheon-a-new-light-shines-in-the-darkness/, http://koreandogs.org/monumental-changes-happening-bucheon-become-first-dog-meat-free-city-south-korea/)
We look forward to your positive response.