South Korea’s Dog Meat Trade: An Asian Landscape Of Suffering For Millions Of Dogs & Cats



A staggering atrocity is happening every day in South Korea: dogs and cats living tormented lives in an unfathomable existence—victims of the dog and cat meat industry, with its deliberate and indefensible cruelty. South Korea’s cruelty and indifference to dogs and cats is one of the worlds worst.

In South Korea alone over 2.5 million dogs are eaten annually and in neighboring China it is close to 5 million.

There are two South Korea’s: the dazzling country whose lofty financial status as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, just beneath the breathtaking progress the sordid and shameful dog and cat meat trade.  Shocking when you consider this is home of Samsung, LG and Hyundai.

Even the South Korean Catholic Church has an intimate relationship with the unsavory and dirty business, where some clergy breed dogs for slaughter, and dog meat is being served at charity functions and food markets, much to the horror of many congregants.

Because of conflicting laws and the very definition of what a dog is—livestock vs. non-livestock—dog and cat meat is neither legal nor illegal but inhabits “a legal blind spot.”

Unlike China and Vietnam, South Korea is a Democratic nation that has the responsibility and legislative ability to make changes and treat all animals with respect and with humane treatment.

dog meat nf

This $2 billion dollar-a-year industry extinguishes the lives of approximately two and a half million dogs a year for meat or gaesoju, a dog broth or stamina food, and about 100,000 cats, for soup and goyangyeesoju or “health tonics.” At the end of their brief and miserable lives, farmers and butchers kill in the most horrific fashion with impunity: they are murdered with high-voltage electrocution prior to being skinned still alive not dying immediately, are hanged, beaten to death, and frequently have their throats slashed. They are killed within sight of their doomed cage mates, thrown into a tub of boiling water, then into a rotating drums for the removal of their fur, and finally blowtorched, often while still alive. Cats are bludgeoned and thrown into boiling water while conscious. Many have their legs broken so they can’t escape, and are skinned alive. Unlike dogs, cats are not farmed for their meat, but are stolen, surrendered, or picked up as strays.

 dog meat trade

Any breed can end up in the meat trade: former animal companions, purebreds (Cocker Spaniels, Shih Tzus, Schnauzers, Malteses, Beagles, among them), dogs from puppy mills, shelters, dogs sold at closed dog auctions, Jindos who failed to pass the Jindo Preservation Ordinance (Jindo is a designated breed as the 53rd Natural Treasure in SK). All of these dogs are eaten as meat or gaesoju or “health” food or boshintang as dog meat soup. They are frequently sold  at Moran Market the largest open air market in South Korea and during their “dog festival” held every year in July.

Moran Market South Korea


Thailand, one of the kindest nations in the world, houses a deadly secret. A cruel trade reaches across the country, part known, part hidden from its people.

In Thailand pets are stolen or bought for a plastic bucket and then trafficked into Vietnam where they can fetch $250 each and in Indonesia, next to honeymoon,spots slaughter takes place without mercy in the most unsanitary conditions.

Thousands of pet dogs and street dogs have vanished and, every day, more disappear. The conditions under which the dogs are transported and slaughtered are inhumane and many die from suffocation, disease and injuries long before they reach their destinations in Thailand and Vietnam.

Chinese Dog Meat Trade

Dogs Being Transported For Slaughter In China. More Than 5 Million Are Butchered Each Year To Feed The Chinese Dog-Meat Industry

Unfortunately Vietnam’s taste for canine is on the rise. According to Tuan Bendixsen, director of the Vietnam office of Animals Asia, as more people move to the cities, fewer remain in the countryside to raise the dogs, which creates enough scarcity to drive prices up. But increased wages mean more people can afford to eat dog, he says, which creates a parallel increase in demand.

“The problem is that there isn’t enough to feed the trade, especially around the Vietnamese New Year, which means dogs are going to be imported from Thailand,” says Tuan. “There was an estimated 25,000 or more dogs coming in per month from Thailand.”

Vietnams Dog Meat Trade

These dogs in metal cages were being transported to Vietnam from Thailand for slaughter and many die from suffocation due to this inhumane and cruel practice before they reach the border.

“If you go to central Vietnam near the Laos border, you often see huge trucks coming across with at least 200 to 300 dogs stacked in cages like chickens,” he says. “Each cage – and they are very small cages – with about 10 dogs. That’s to feed Vietnam’s dog-meat industry.”

Last month Thai police caught three men trying to smuggle more than 1,000 dogs into Vietnam from Laos.

Dog Smugglers Thailand

Smugglers apprehended by the Royal Thai Police in March 2013 transporting dogs to Vietnam 

This is and unregulated, illegal industry. Never legalized not even locally yet accepted and on the increase. It is highly likely that diseased dog meat will end up in the food chain as has horse meat in Europe.

Please think of the barbaric and horrific conditions these dogs and cats have to endure when South Korean’s say its their culture. Culture is never and excuse for cruelty in Asia or the USA. 


“Think Occasionally Of The Suffering Of Which You Spare Yourself The Sight” ~ Albert Schweitzer


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6 Responses to “South Korea’s Dog Meat Trade: An Asian Landscape Of Suffering For Millions Of Dogs & Cats”

  1. We all must stand united and fight for our dogs and cats.
    This is just a money-making industryndhas nothing to do with their CULTURE because the majority of the citizens want this gone just as much as the outside world.
    These shady trades put shame on these otherwise beautiful countries.
    We want our dogs liberated to live in freedom alongside man once again and not eaten.
    Notodogmeat we are right by your side.

  2. Lynne Miles at #

    Please please stop the dog trade. It is evil. These dogs have feelings they do feel pain just like we do. I don’t know how anybody can be so very cruel. It is one of the most cruel things happening to dogs. It is bad enough dogs having to live on the street. They are scared they do not know when their next meal will be. These street dogs should be helped not used in his terrible trade. Street dogs are only on the street due to PEOPLE not caring, not having their dog neutered . Otherv People are loosing their pets which they love. I would be heart broken to loose a dog. I would never get over it. It must stop!

  3. Ich kann leider kein englisch .Aber ich schreibe trotzdem was da mit den Tieren geschied ist so grausam und menschen unwuerdig ich habe jetzt solche Bilder so oft gesehen und ich bin so wuetend alle diese Hunde und Katzen sind tot sie werden erstickt erschlagen und erhängt !!!Warum was sind das fuer Bestien wie können die sich Menschen nenen.Alles dauert so lange Korea kan man beukotieren keine Autos mehr kaufen und keiner kommt zur Olympiade,und Cina wie kann man in unserer Zeit Geschäfte machen mit so einem Land ??Ich bin so ungluecklich da könte ich zum teroristen werden um die Tiere zu befreien .Sie mussen hilfe bekommen arnme arnme Wesen.Was sind Menschen fuer Bestien und gleichgueltig alle die die Tiere nicht unterstuezen sollten sich in Grund und Boden Schämen Sie mussten Auch als Tiere wieder geboren werden /wenn es eine Wiedergeburt geben wuerde) Es gibt kein Tier auf der ganzen Welt was so grausam ist wie die Tierschlachter und die die sie trazportieren Ich werde noch wahnsinig ichs ehe immer diese Augen vor mir.

  4. Sandra medina at #

    It is cruel to see these images of how this mob carries this poor animals. It breaks my heart, to see this still going on. No animal should be treated like this.

  5. Di er noen hevetes svin av noen Bastarder ,!!!

  6. Brenda at #

    What ever we buy or sell to South Korea or anyone who practices this or any cruelty to animals should be boycotted There just sick demented people

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