Photos from Lady Freethinker
A new undercover investigation this summer by animal rights nonprofit Lady Freethinker captured footage and images of confined dogs kept and sold in what is likely the largest remaining dog meat auction in South Korea at Nakwon Auction House in the city of Namyangju.
The auction and investigation took place during the Bok Nal Dog Eating Days, believed to be the hottest days of the year, when dog meat is consumed out of a mistaken belief that it will have a cooling effect. The dogs are typically cooked as boshintang, or dog meat soup, for Bok Nal.
WAN caught up with Founder and President of Lady Freethinker, Nina Jackel, about the investigation which found more than 200 dogs in metal crates and cages yelping in fear as an auctioneer prodded them with a metal hook. The investigation documented that there were 60 numbered cages, each containing three to four dogs.
“Lady Freethinker has partnered for years with an organization in Gimpo, South Korea, called Save Korean Dogs (SKD), run by a dedicated woman named Nami Kim who rescues dogs from the dog meat trade and works with local legislators to end the industry,” Jackel told WAN, noting that they had someone on the ground to film footage of SKD’s work, when the auction house opportunity presented itself. “The videographer was so brave, and wore a hidden camera even though the facility is on high alert for animal activists.”
“The ultimate goal is to save thousands of dogs from suffering at this facility by exposing what happens there,” noted Jackel, who wants officials to close down this auction house, which is most-likely operating illegally by not following regulations. “Our partner Nami, has already met with the mayor’s office following the release of the investigation, and is planning more visits.”
Unfathomably, South Korea remains the only country in the world with large-scale, commercial dog meat farms despite a decline in consumer demand for the meat by locals. The Korean Animal Welfare Association found in a 2019 poll of South Koreans that just 12.2% of respondents were still eating dogs, down from 13% in 2018. And, 41% reported that they used to eat dogs but were no longer doing so, up from 39.5% in 2018.
Lady Freethinker, in partnership with Save Korean Dogs, is also currently sponsoring 20 taxi ads in the city of Paju that state that “Dogs are not food but family,” and has been conducting undercover investigations since 2018; including one that exposed a dogfight breeder in Chile, which resulted in the strongest-ever sentence for animal cruelty in the nation.
While most major dog meat auction houses in South Korea have closed, Nakwon Auction House is believed to be the largest one remaining. The deplorable auction house is operating in a residential area and is advertised as a dog breeding facility.
Please sign the petition urging Namyangju Mayor Cho Kwang-han to shut Nakwon Auction House down for good, HERE!
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg