Pyeongchang’s project to hide the Dog Meat Restaurants from Olympic visitors!

[Update: January 23, 2018] The Korean government changes its plan and offers a subsidy to only those dog meat restaurants that change their business.

Due to the outcry by the animal activists protesting the Korean government’s plan to subsidize dog meat restaurants to change their signs while still allowing them to sell dog meat, the Korean government has changed its plans. According to the Hankookilbo report on January 9, 2018, the government now requires the dog meat restaurants to change their business to be eligible for the subsidy and the amount offered has increased to 20,000,000 won per restaurant. However, only 2 restaurants have accepted this offer in the past year. Click HERE to learn more in Korean.

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Click HERE to watch TV news about the Pyeongchang government’s project to change “Dog Meat Soup” restaurant signs. (In Korean)

Video: Channel A News. “Take down the Dog Meat Soup signs”… Pyeongchang’s headache ahead of the Olympic. This TV news report shows that 41 dog meat restaurants in Pyeongchang and Gangneung area must change their sign to remove the words that means “Dog Meat Soup”. A dog meat restaurant owner claims she is worried that the taking down of their signs will hurt their business, because dog meat restaurants are different than other restaurants, and people locate them by their outside signage. One resident of Gangneung expressed that as there will be foreigners visiting South Korea, having dog meat restaurant signage is not good for their image, and he wishes that the dog meat restaurants will give consideration to that. The reporter also talks about the boycott movement from outside South Korea.

The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics is less than a year away. On our “Boycott PyeongChang 2018 Action Center” we have a list of actions you can take to protest South Korea’s horrific cruelty of its dog and cat meat industry.

Below is a translation of Korea Animal Rights Advocates’ (KARA) commentary regarding PyeongChang’s plan to dodge criticism of Korea’s dog meat cruelty.

Click HERE for KARA’s commentary.

[Commentary] We examine the limitation and significance of changing signboards of Dog Meat Restaurants in Pyeongchang ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympic in Pyeongchang.

Gangwon Province is currently making preparations to welcome guests to the Winter Olympics, which will be held in February 2018. To alleviate the shortage of lodging accommodations and restaurants, and to create income for agricultural households, support will be provided to the hospitality industry to strengthen the spirit of service as well as networking with the local agricultural community to introduce Korean culture to the visitors. In addition, certain restaurants that may evoke negative emotions from foreign visitors will undergo renovations, including new signage, in order to conceal the underlying cause of the controversy and avert debate.

What is the underlying cause of the expected negative emotions from the Winter Olympics guests? 18 dog meat restaurants in Gangwon Province around Pyeongchang and Gangneung. The government will subsidize up to 10,000,000 won for each restaurant to change their signs (3,000,000) and renovate their facilities (7,000,000). 50% of the cost for this project will be paid by the Province and 50% by the city.

Protests and boycotts against Korea’s Boshintang (dog meat soup) and the dog meat industry’s abuse of dogs is common prior to any major international event. The government, however, has routinely responded with stop-gap measures such as taking down signs rather than resolving the underlying problem of the dog meat industry itself. Despite the fact that the Animal Protection Act was the result of the public’s outcry during the 1988 Seoul Olympics against the cruelty of the dog meat industry, the government has failed to make any progress to address this problem in the 30 years since.

While there are only 18 restaurants at issue, removing signs reading “Boshintang, Sacheoltang, Yeongyangtang, Yeongyangwon” that may evoke disgust is certainly significant, as is renovating windows, entry ways, and walls to remove words and phrases relating to dog meat. We don’t think that providing financial support of 7,000,000 won to these businesses for such renovations is completely inappropriate.

However, this project cannot solve the fundamental problem and therefore is strictly a formality. It will be difficult to avoid condemnation of the dog meat trade and its cruelty to dogs by simply taking down the signs of 18 dog meat soup restaurants. It will be equally as hard to avoid criticism that the removal of the signage is just for show.

The strange name that the government titled this project, ‘Restaurants that evoke negative emotions from the foreigners’, is also a problem. While opposition to the consumption of dog meat is becoming more vocal within our country and the amendment to the animal protection law to punish the slaughter of dogs is ongoing because animal cruelty is part of the dog meat trade, the project title leads people to mistakenly believe this issue is just a conflict between Koreans and foreigners.

Moreover, the Gangwon Provincial government is allowing these 18 restaurants to continue normal business operations during the Olympics despite the removal of their signs, and to put back the signs once the Olympics is over stating that they are respecting the requests of these dog meat restaurants.

In addition, Gangwon Provincial government has not disclosed any plans to induce the dog meat restaurants receiving 7,000,000 won in financial subsidies for facility renovation to change their business models either during or after the Olympics.

The demand for dog meat soup is declining while acceptance of dogs as companion animals is increasing.

Regardless of the preparations for hosting the guests of the upcoming international event, Korean society must begin discussions now about ending dog meat consumption, which is synonymous with large scale animal cruelty.

The Gangwon Provincial government must use the sign removal project as an opportunity to raise the international status of Korea and dispel the world’s concern towards our weak animal welfare standards as symbolized by the dog meat trade and the consumption of dog meat.

Unfortunately, at the moment, Gangwon’s strategy is as ineffective as building a house on sand!

Take Action

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Photo: Dog meat farm in South Korea.

  1. Jocelyne Slater
    Jocelyne SlaterMarch 4,17

    Every living creature deserve a decent life and a painless death, let it be human or non human.

  2. ulrike abatzidis
    ulrike abatzidisMarch 4,17

    I hope this cruelty will stop soon,i dont have any respect to korea.

    • Cathy Z.
      Cathy Z.March 5,17

      Me too. I have lost all respect since I found out about all this!

      • Jackie
        JackieMarch 17,17

        It’s not only South Korea….it’s China, Thailand, and other primarily Asian countries

  3. Cecilia Houck
    Cecilia HouckMarch 4,17

    Stop this cruelty against dogs and cats!

  4. Nadine Hordle
    Nadine HordleMarch 4,17

    I can’t watch the videos as the pictures
    Are enough,this is terrible,shameful.

    To upset to write more

  5. pamela kelly
    pamela kellyMarch 4,17

    Every animal has a right to live . No dog or cat should be tortured or abused and killed for consumption.. Stop this horrific barbaric practice.They should be loved and protected as family pets.

  6. stanley B. herman
    stanley B. hermanMarch 4,17

    Love is all, always…all ways. This practice is against the order of divine creations…it’s blatant murder of the creators love. These manufacturers should cease their greedy inhumane ways immediately and enforced by the higher powers in their country…and protested by citizens and countries participating and boycott the Olympics and their athletes from participation.

  7. kim
    kimMarch 5,17

    I would not set foot in any country, namely Korean. Furthermore…I can’t understand why anybody has picked such a barbaric place to have the OLYMPICS!!! This makes no sense to me why we would choose them and bring millions in tourism. It’s wrong all the way down to the last whisker.

  8. Perczak Ewa
    Perczak EwaMarch 5,17

    it’s awfull the whole world is appalled by it ! I hope that soon this horrendous torture of the dogs and cats in S. Korea will be banned ! almost 500 years ago Leonard de Vinci said : ” The day will come when the people as you and me, will consider the murder of an animal in the same way as they consider the murder of a man today ” so I hope that this day will come as quickly as possible !!! South Korea ! wake up !!! what you do is not worthy even the tradition from the Middle Ages !!!

  9. Sylvia
    SylviaMarch 5,17

    It’s absolutely disgusting disgraceful evil act what you are doing to these poor animals shame on your cruel country

  10. Susan masoner
    Susan masonerMarch 8,17

    An idea, how about pictures of the restaurants as they are presently and locations, the market squares, and a layout of the businesses that are involved in this hideous practice. Have a information or guide that could not only be passed out at time of events, but also prior like those packs of things to do and what’s available in towns that you visit or vacation. Have a map with restaurants and stores laid out for easy access. It doesn’t even have to be made out to emphasize the campaigns, just list as is presently. Believe me when the public sees what is on menu and where, along with separate information regarding the campaigns and petitions and rescues, they will put two and two together. Put a small notation regarding the menu, the sanitation, the need to protect their dogs if vacationing with owners. Just enlighten them. Anyway, it would be a way of displaying the facts before they try to cover it up. Just throw ideas out there until we find the right ones that help spread the message and gain support. Maybe provide a way for much needed adoptions. Once people see with their own eyes and learn, it won’t be ignored.

  11. Kyle
    KyleMarch 10,17

    These people are barbaric! They haven’t progressed in many years. They eat companion animals but not before they torture them! I want to put a bullet in each of there heads, How people can go and help their economy knowing that this goes on is just as bad as them doing it themselves! I HATE any scum bag that inflicts pain on poor defenseless animals that God created to help us in our day to day lives! All these animals want are our love, affection and loyalty. Breaks my heart knowing that this goes on!

  12. dawn hill
    dawn hillMarch 15,17

    Korea should be ashamed. To allow this despicable disgusting torturous trade to continue in your country is an enormous embarrassment. You may think you can shut this out of public view for the Olympics, but through social media you can be sure that the world knows of Koreas evil disgusting filthy barbaric disgraceful secret. We will not be silenced until this sadistic barbarity of your country has ceased.

  13. SALLIE G
    SALLIE GMarch 16,17


  14. sara
    saraMarch 17,17

    Korea is a disgusting country of cruelty and an ugly part among people. GOD bless this innocent and kind animals and do something with this dirty nation

  15. Steve McKay
    Steve McKayMarch 17,17

    Also on the list of dog-eating countries are China, Vietnam, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Philippines & Switzerland (a small faction in the Rhine Valley). While most of the developed world finds eating companion animals abhorrent, realize that the French & Canadians eat horse meat. While this feels does not sit right right to most, the torture should never be tolerated or excused. My boycott is now solidified. Thank you for starting this petition.

  16. Julie Tidball
    Julie TidballJuly 1,17


  17. Debra Grossman
    Debra GrossmanJuly 1,17

    In most civilized countries, torturing dogs and cats and killing them to eat would send you to prison for animal cruelty. South Korea must abandon this barbaric and shameful custom. A huge movement is in progress towards a vegetarian diet, that has proven to be healthier and prevents disease. What your country is doing is despicable, horrific, filthy and is a huge black stain to your country. I must say thank you to all the compassionate South Koreans for risking your lives to end this nightmare. My heart is broken day in and day out from knowing this is happening. Please end it for good.

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