No more dogs are to be slaughtered in South Korea's famous dog meat market.
Since it opened in the 1960s, Moran Market in Seongnam has been known for the sale of dog meat, but that is all changing, as South Korean officials recently banned the slaughter and butchering of dogs.
The slaughter facilities will be removed as early as next week, thanks to an agreement between the city of Seongnam and the vendors' association at Moran Market, the Korea Herald newspaper reported.
Currently one-third of the dog meat consumed in South Korea comes from Moran Market. Live dogs are kept in cages for customers to choose, and then slaughtered on the spot, often with brutal methods.
Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung believes this change is about animal welfare and South Korea as a whole.
"Seongnam City will take the initiative to transform South Korea's image since 'the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated,'" he said, quoting Gandhi.
The Korean Animal Welfare Association sees this is as a step in the right direction, but association official Jang In-young said that true implementation will take some follow-up:
"We will have to constantly monitor dog meat shops in the market (to see) if they really stop slaughtering dogs ... The city government will also need to keep pushing the idea to ultimately ban the sales of dog meat here."
Though dog meat consumption has been a traditional part of Korean culture, consumption has actually declined as pet ownership has risen in recent years. The 22 dog meat vendors currently operating at the market are to receive financial support to help them switch to a new line of business.
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