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Large South Korea Dog Meat Market to Shut Down: It's 'a Sign of More Compassionate Times'

Kelli Bender

Humane Society International (HSI) has some good news to share from their fight to end dog meat sales in South Korea.

According HSI, the Gupo dog meat market in Busan, South Korea — one of the country’s largest dog meat markets—  is set to shut down in the near future. The closure is the result of an agreement reached by the local Busan authorities and the 19 dog meat sellers operating out of the Gupo Live Stock Market.

HSI and other animal rights organizations know Gupo as a “notorious” market, infamous for its sale of chilled dog meat and “live dogs killed to order.”

Once the dog meat market is closed, the government plans to turn the area into a public park as a part of a urban planning project that led to the negotiations for the market’s shut down.

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This is another recent victory in the fight against the dog meat trade. In November of last year, South Korea’s “Seongnam city demolished Taepyeong, the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse, and closed down most of the related dog meat vendor,” reports HSI.

Jean Chung/For HSI

These changes are seen as “a sign of more compassionate times” to Nara Kim, a dog meat campaigner for HSI and Humane Society Korea.

“The closure plan is the result of months of hard work between the local authorities and the market vendors, and both sides are to be commended for working towards this goal that will not only bring to an end to Gupo’s dog meat era, but will also see the area regenerated with new amenities and businesses for the benefit of the local, modern economy,” Kim said in a statement.

Jean Chung/For HSI

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“HSI has been working with dog meat farmers in South Korea for nearly four years helping them close their flagging businesses as more people in the county turn away from dog meat, so the closure of Gupo’s grimly iconic dog market, which follows the demolition last year of the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse complex, is a sign of more compassionate times,” she added. 

Kim and others at HSI hopes that the government’s work to fairly shut down this market inspires other cities in South Korea to seek out an end to their “increasingly unpopular” dog meat operations.