The Humane Society International (HSI) rescued over 70 dogs from a South Korean meat farm and are now planning to send them to Canadian and US shelters for adoption, according to Fresh Daily.
Nakseon Kim is the owner of the dog farm and has been breeding the animals for almost 40 years. The farmer made the decision to follow a new line of work after the HSI offered to help him grow vegetables instead.
"Amid growing South Korean opposition to eating dogs and a series of new regulations and court rulings cracking down on the industry, farmers like Mr. Kim are increasingly looking for an exit strategy but with one request—to save their dogs," said an HSI in a release.
"After years of sending the animals to slaughter, Mr. Kim is not the first farmer to be relieved to learn that HSI rescues, rehabilitates and seeks happy homes for all the dogs."
The farm had many types of dogs including Jindos, Tosas, Poodles, Siberian Huskies, Beagles, Golden Retrievers, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Boston Terriers. The dogs were being bred for both the trade in puppies and for meat.
"In rows of dilapidated cages, surrounded by animal waste, junk and garbage, some dogs are destined for the slaughterhouse, and others the unscrupulous puppy mill trade," says the release.
"Despite Korea's dog meat industry attempting to claim a difference between pet dogs and 'meat dogs,' the reality is they are all just dogs whose fate ultimately depends on where greatest profits can be made."
This is the 16th dog farm that the HSI has shut down since 2015—rescuing over 2,000 dogs in total.
The organization says that the practice of consuming dog meat in South Korea been on a steady decline in recent years.
A survey conducted by Gallup Korea says that 70 percent of South Koreans claim that in the future, they won’t eat dog meat. The country still has thousands of dog farms and as many as 2 million dogs still being bred.
Recently the practice has been banned in other regions such as Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore.
Kim's dogs have now been moved to a South Korean boarding facility until travel restrictions are more relaxed.
"HSI hopes its model for change will hasten an end to the controversial and cruel industry by demonstrating to the Korean government that a farmer-supported phase out of farms can work," says the release.
"As global pressure builds for countries across Asia to permanently close wildlife wet markets amid coronavirus risks, the array of undeniable human health risks posed by the dog meat trade in South Korea and across Asia, is strengthening calls for action across the continent."