South Korean Dog Farmers Rally Near The Presidential Office, Causes Scuffle With The Police Over Dog Meat Ban

About 200 South Korean dog farmers held a rally on Thursday, November 30, near the presidential office in Seoul to prevent the proposed plan on dog meat ban.

The rally came after the ruling People Power Party announced the bill that aims to end the dog meat trade in the country by 2027.

As per The Korea Times’ report, Ju Yeong-bong, secretary-general of the Korean Association of Edible Dog, an association with nearly 1,000 members nationwide said, “Korea is a democratic country that grants in its Constitution the people’s right to choose what to eat and freedom to choose their profession.”

He continued saying, “We have done nothing wrong but work hard all our lives as diligent providers of dog meat to the nation and we urge the government to protect the rights of us, the farmers!”

The protesters brought trucks loaded with nearly 100 canines that they intended to release into the street in front of the presidential office.

However, they were turned away by the police who inspected the trucks that were covered in blankets, causing a scuffle with the police.

The police completely outnumbered the farmers and were able to set up barricades to stop them from crossing the street and moving closer to the presidential office.

Ju, who led the rally, along with two other protesters, were detained by the police, Reuters reports.

On November 21, Ju Yeong-bong said during a radio show, “We are currently planning to release 2 million of the dogs we’re raising.”

He then listed the places where they plan to release the dogs, including in the Yongsan District of Seoul, the famous Hannam Bridge, in front of the house of agriculture minister, the presidential office, and the offices of the lawmakers who have proposed the bill.

Several animal advocacy groups reveals that this is not the first time that the group of dog farmers used live animals during protests.

According to The Korea Times, the dog farmers were advised to use photos or replicas of dogs instead, because the Seoul Administrative Court ruled in May that deploying canines during demonstrations is an act of animal cruelty.

Talking to The Korea Times, Jeung Seung-yong, leader of the local animal advocacy group Catch Dog, said, “The group is holding these animals captive in confined spaces for hours, possibly without any water or food, as they have done multiple times in the past.”

Jeung then reveals that they plan to sue the dog farmers for animal cruelty because of this.

With this bill to put a stop to the controversial practice, the government will ask farms, butchers, retailers, and restaurants to submit their plans to phase out dog meat. And during the transition period, the businesses will receive financial aid from the government and a three-year grace period.

The practice of eating dog meat has continued to decline in recent years in South Korea. But dog farmers and those in the same business continue to fight for it to be legal.

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