Guest article by Allie Eunbee Kwon
Owing to the incredibly hard work of Korean animal rights activists, the Gupo Dog meat market has finally been permanently shut down. On July 1st, 2019, eighty-five (85) dogs remaining on the premises of one of the largest dog meat markets in Korea were rescued due to the efforts of several Korean animal welfare organizations. These fortunate pups will be rehabilitated as they wait for new families to welcome them. Soon these dogs will be open for adoption to families across the globe.
This victory marks the first of its kind – a dog meat market was shut down entirely through negotiations. Beginning in 2017 and ending in the summer of 2019, the lengthy negotiations between the City of Busan, Korean animal rights activists, and the Gupo Dog Meat Market led to a fruitful end. Among others, the negotiated settlement included financial compensation for the merchants in exchange for a complete shutdown of the market.
Another victory of Gupo shutdown is the fact that the market will no longer be used as a space to inflict cruelties. There are numerous past examples of dog meat market closures where the market continued to sell dog meat, despite the restriction on dog slaughtering. However, the Gupo market settlement bans not only the slaughtering of dogs but also the showcasing of dogs and selling of dog meat. According to the City of Busan, the premises will be rebuilt into a community centre – and you will be happy to hear that the centre will include an animal welfare office.
This long-awaited victory is worthy of celebration. However, Korean animal rights activists still have a lot of work to do and will continue to fight for the Humane treatment of dogs everywhere.
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