Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-Myung Takes Lead in Anti-Dog Meat Campaigns in South Korea
The agreement bans keeping dogs for human consumption in cages, slaughtering dogs, and selling dog meat at the market.The above behaviors will be banned completely by the end of February of 2017, according to the agreement.Instead Seongnam City will support administratively the dog meat merchants at the market to change their business gradually.The open-air Moran Market was formed in the 1960s and dog meat shops blossomed thereafter, and their number rose to nearly 60 at its peak.It was on the occasion of 2002 World Cup Games co-hosted evenly in Seoul and Tokyo that the number of dog meat shops decreased to close to 20.
Since its formation Moran Dog Meat Market has long been the object for complaints or protests from both local and international lovers of dogs and other animal rights activists.As recently as past October members of local animal rights groups clashed with dog meat merchants at Moran Market over the issue of inhumane treatment of canine animals.Experts point out that there is no legal ground for cracking down on wide-spread practice of dog meat trade in South Korea.The dogs are not included in the current "Slaughtering Livestock and Hygiene Law," making the government lawfully unable to control the killing, citculating, and selling the dogs and dog meat.Korean people's deep-rooted custom of eating dog meat is also a bone of contention, dividing the public opinion split between eaters and haters.Yet, the growing public opinion against dog meat is changing the minds of the merchants, which made possible the agreement reached between the city and the merchants.For the agreement the city officials held over 10 rounds of direct talks with the merchants in the past 10 months or so.The city will offer the low-interest loans to the merchants and other all kinds of administrative assistance in return for their consent.Behind all these positive change is the leadership of Mayor Lee Jae-Myung.Worried about the national image of Korea, Mayor Lee has always been the vanguard of not only Seongnam City but also the whole nation in his efforts to make the nation better country to live in.The agreement will play a positive role in boosting national images of Korea two years before the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.Seongnam City will host a public conference for the final solution of the dog meat issue in the upcoming January of 2017. Lawmakers, animal rights groups, owners of dog farms, and dog meat traders, and general public will be invited to the conference.
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