South Korea wrong on Animal Rights: law not enforced for blatant animal cruelty.

Sharing Korea Alliance for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Busan KAPCA)‘s Facebook post on November 22, 2018.

URGENT – Indictment for an incident of animal abuse suspended. We need everyone’s protest and signatures.

Ulsan District Prosecutor’s Office Chief Prosecutor Song In-Taek

This is an incident of animal abuse which happened at an apartment building construction site in Ulsan, Korea. A man strikes a dog tied to a post at the construction site with an aluminum pipe over one meter long, and at least three times. We received this video last summer, but the owner of this video was reluctant to publicly reveal this video at the time, so we reported the incident to the police. We had never received an update of the investigation, so we contacted the police for a response. It was the learned that an indictment for this obvious case of animal abuse was suspended. In other words, it was acknowledged that the abuser committed a crime, but he was not charged.

The animal abuse crime was acknowledged but indictment was suspended because:
1) the abuser claimed to be the dog’s owner; 2) the abuser struck the dog because the dog bit him while he was trying to feed the dog; 3) the dog suffered only minor injuries; 4) the abuser did not have a past history of similar crimes, and 5) the Citizen’s Prosecutorial Committee gave the recommendation to suspend indictment.

During the investigation, the dog disappeared and when we inquired about the whereabouts of the dog, we were told from the police that the perpetrator sent away the dog somewhere and were shown a picture of the dog.

We would like to ask:

1. It is not clear whether the abuser is actually the dog’s owner. At the beginning of the investigation, the abuser gave a statement that he was bitten by the dog and that he had planned to demand payment for medical expenses. However, he later stated that he was the owner of the dog. It is not known whether the dog is registered. If the abuser is really the dog’s owner as he claims, the dog’s registration should have been checked, and if the dog was not registered, the owner should be reported to the proper authorities and fined for non-registration.

If the abuser is really the dog’s owner and it is true that the dog bit his owner, whose fault is that? Is it not the owner’s fault that he did not train or take proper care of his dog? Why should that be an excuse for suspension of indictment? The owner should be held even more responsible for not properly caring for his dog.

2. As the abuser had stated that the dog suffered only minor injuries, we asked for a report confirming the medical treatment received. However, there was no such evidence that the dog had received any treatment. Then, whose opinion was it that the dog’s injuries were only minor? In the video, you can clearly see that the dog is being struck with an aluminum pipe – how can the injuries be minor?

What kind of people are those in the Citizen’s Prosecutorial Committee? If indictment is suspended for cases in which an abuser is bitten by a dog because of his own negligence, will all indictments be suspended in the case of an owner who abuses his dog? Is that not allowing animal abuse? How can the prosecutor’s office make such a decision? Looking at many examples of recent serial killers, many of them began their crimes against animals before moving on to crimes against people. Suspending indictment of animal abuse crimes is the same as inciting crimes against people.

We have submitted another statement of complaint. Suspending indictment against an animal abuser like this is tolerating future animal abuse crimes. Animal abuse applies regardless of whether or not the abuser is the dog’s owner, and whether or not the abuser has a previous history of similar crimes.

We are extremely angry at the Ulsan District Prosecutor’s Office for making this judgement to suspend indictment and we demand a proper investigation of this incident.

Please join us in our fight to get justice for this case of animal abuse.
Please complain to the Ulsan District Prosecutor’s Office so that this case can be re-investigated.
052 228 4200(Ulsan Prosecutor’s Office)

Please click the following link to sign petition and show your support.

We will attach the signatures to our formal complaint demanding re-investigation and strong punishment for the abuser.

Call for Action!

  • Click HERE to send your protest letter to the Ulsan District Prosecutor’s Office using e-people online.
  • Send your protest letter to the Ulsan District Prosecutor’s Office.Ulsan District Prosecutor’s Office
    Chief Prosecutor Mr. Song In-Taek
    45 Beop-daero, Nam-gu, Ulsan
    Postal Code 44643
    South Korea

    Address in Korean:
    송인택 검사장
    (44643) 울산광역시 남구 법대로 45
    South Korea

    📝 Suggested message

    Subject: Ulsan District Prosecutor must answer for failure to prosecute.

    To the Ulsan District Chief Prosecutor, Mr Song In-Taek,

    We have learned of an acknowledged case of deliberate animal cruelty in Ulsan District, where a man, claiming to be the owner, bludgeoned a dog with an aluminum pipe. ( The dog was tied up on a piece of rough ground undergoing construction, when it allegedly bit the man while being fed.

    As you are surely aware, unlike human beings, dogs do not inflict pain on other beings just because they can: they bite because they are frightened or have been put into such a situation that they feel they have no option but to defend themselves. So, why did this dog feel it had to defend itself? And, why did the ‘owner’ think it was justifiable to viciously beat this (restrained) animal?

    This incident was reported to your police department, backed up by video evidence. We expected a full investigation and then a prosecution. But the circumstances were clearly not fully investigated and the details proposed by the man in question not only contradict themselves but are irrelevant as justification for this cruelty.

    Now, we learn that the indictment has been suspended. Why?

    We want you to be very clear that we find it disgraceful that South Korean law enforcers are not willing to carry out their duty in such cases, by prosecuting those violating your own country’s laws.

    And now, this abused dog has disappeared.

    We want answers. South Korea cannot continue in its indifference to any form of animal cruelty.

    Mr District Prosecutor, we look to you to investigate this incident fully and to right this wrong by continuing with the prosecution of this man for this cruel and unnecessary act.

    We watch and wait; thank you.

    [Your Name & City/Country]

    Busan KAPCA’s petition in Korean::

    동물학대사건 불기소처분, 여러분들의 항의와 서명이 필요합니다.

    지난 여름, 울산의 모아파트 공사장에서 벌어진 동물학대 사건.
    공사장 인부로 보이는 사건 피의자가 공사장 내 주차장에서 묶어 기르는 피해견( 소유자 불명)에게 자기방어를 할 수도 없는 상황에서 길이 1m가 훌쩍 넘는 알루미늄 막대기 (두께 1cm, 너비 3cm)로 극도의 심리적 위협과 함께 최소 3회 무차별 가격하여 신체적 고통을 준 학대행위로 사건 접수가 되었습니다.

    당시 저희 부산동물학대방지연합은 동영상으로 이 학대제보를 받았으나 제보자가 동영상 공개를 꺼려하여 일단 경찰에 고발만 한 상태였고, 시일이 지나도 사건 결과를 받지 못해 경찰청에 연락을 취해보니, 이 명백한 동물학대사건이 검찰에서 기소유예 판결이 나왔다는 답변을 받았습니다.

    학대 혐의는 인정이 되었지만 결론적으로 기소유예 판결이 난 이유가, 개를 때린 사람이 개주인으로, 개에게 밥을 주려다가 개가 자신을 물어서 화가 나서 때린 것이고, 개의 신체적 피해 정도가 중하지 않다는 것, 피의자가 동종의 전과가 없고, 검찰시민위원회 심의결과 기소유예처분이 상당하다는 의결이 있었다는 점 등을 참작했기 때문이라는 것이었습니다.

    피의자가 경찰서에서 최초 진술 당시, 본인 소유의 개가 아님을 자백했었으나 본인에게 유리한 진술을 이어가기 위해 추후 번복한 사실이 있고, 피해견의 경미한 신체적 피해를 단정짓는 진단서나 병원진료기록, 그 외 여타 근거자료 여부도 경찰청에 질의를 하였으나 당시 육안검사가 전부였다는 답변만 받았습니다. 또한, 검찰시민위원회는 잔혹한 동물학대를 용인한 바와 다름없는 기소유예 의결을 내기까지 단 한번이라도 피해견의 심리적, 신체적 고통을 공감이나 했을지.

    연쇄살인범, 양진호 등 최근 각종 잔혹범죄만 보더라도 동물학대가 사람범죄로 이어진다는 것은 명확한데, 이렇게 동물학대를 기소유예 처분을 해 준다면 이것이야 말로 사람범죄를 조장하는 것과 무엇이 다릅니까?

    저희 부산동물학대방지연합은 다시 항고장을 제출하였습니다. 이렇게 동물학대를 버젓이 자행한 사람이 기소유예 따위로 유야무야가 된다면 앞으로의 동물학대사건을 사회가 용인해 주는 것 밖에 되지 않는 것입니다. 동물학대는 그 피의자가 동물의 소유자든 아니든, 동종의 전과가 있든 없든, 그것은 중요하지도 상관있지도 않은 것입니다. 그럼에도 불구하고, 이렇게 명백한 동물학대 사건에 대해 기소유예 처분을 한 울산 검찰에 엄청난 분노를 느끼며 제대로된 수사를 촉구하는 바입니다.

    여러분, 동물학대 사건이 제대로 처벌결과를 이끌어낼 수 있도록 부디 함께 해주십시오.
    울산 검찰에서 제대로 재수사가 이뤄질 수 있도록 강력하게 항의 해 주십시오. 울산 검찰청) 052 228 4200
    피해견의 가지지 못한 목소리가 되어 함께 소리내어 주시길 바랍니다. 감사합니다.

[Update: December 4, 2018] Formal complaint for re-investigation and strong punishment of the abuser has been filed.

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