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  Letters to the Editor
Animal rights advocate says
"Korea Should Stop Eating Man's Best Friends"
Abuse of Dogs Still Rampant in S. Korea, China
Special Contribution
By Suzanne Thorpe
Dogs in a case are waiting to be slaughtered at Moran Market in Seongnam, east of Seoul. Moran Market is the largest dog meat market in South Korea.

A shocking case of animal abuse in Seoul's largest dog meat market, revealed recently, has left many people in South Korea and China horrified and angry.

The abuse of hundreds of dogs by their owner in Incheon, west of Seoul has infuriated South Korean citizens. The dogs were left unattended in squalid conditions out in the open for several months. Many of them starved or froze to death as their owner left them out in the freezing weather. Astonishingly after such blatant abuses the owner went on to seek compensation from the Incheon City Administration for his loss.

South Korean citizens as well as many Chinese have also been up in arms over images of a Chinese woman killing a puppy, a cat, and a rabbit by trampling them to death with her shoes. The vivid photos of her inhumane behavior have been circulated widely on South Korean and Chinese websites.

Faced with strong protests, she has since apologized to the Chinese public, saying that she was suffering from manic depression. But her bizarre excuse has made Chinese people even angrier. The woman, named Wang Jue, is known to be a nurse working at a local hospital in Heilungjang (Black Dragon) Province.

Chinese nurse Wang Jue kills a puppy with her shoes.

Do people's reactions to these two cases mean that overall conditions for dogs and abuses of other animals have changed a lot? The answer is still uncertain.

Regardless, foreign animal rights groups and foreign visitors to both countries continue to complain about the rampant abuse of animals, particularly of dogs, in South Korea and China.

The following letter is from a world renowned animal rights advocate. The letter is full of cases of animal abuses in Korea in particular.

"I am amazed and shocked that you do not use your power to expose and condemn the disgusting cruelty to dogs and cats in Korea. I am writing to all media worldwide to join forces and protest to FIFA and The Olympic Committee in Geneva that Korea and China should not be allowed into interntional games until the cruelty in both countires is eradicated. If tourism and trade to both Korea and China were withdrawn by the West then perhaps both countries would treat cats and dogs with the basic decency they deserve. Perhaps you would take the time to read the following accounts published on a Briitsh website — thank you," Suzanne Thorpe, Lincoln.

"As most people are aware, in South Korea it is common to eat dogs. What people are perhaps unaware of though is that the method of killing them is not done in a humane manner, but by torturing them to death by hanging, strangulation, and beatings with such objects as bricks, large rocks, heavy rod-like objects and electrocution. They do this for long periods of time in order to terrorize and cause great suffering to the animal.

A Chinese man piles up dogs after the killing.

They die a very slow and painful death. This brutal execution is done to dogs, because many South Koreans believe the flesh from a dog who is tortured to death has aphrodisiac qualities and tastes better. Some South Koreans torture cats by hitting them on the head repeatedly with hammers, by placing them in sacks which are then pounded on the ground, or by other methods that produce slow and painful death. Dead cats are cooked along with ginger, dates and chestnuts to make a brown paste or "Liquid Cat" which is foolishly thought by many South Koreans to be a remedy for rheumatism and joint problems,"

The Treatment of Dogs and Cats in Korea
Should the brutal treatment and death of a dog or cat concern us more than if the same were done to a cow, or a sheep, or a chicken?
It shouldn't, but animals that the "Western world" looks upon as companion animals are treated very differently in Korea.

Many Koreans still believe that if one eats the meat of dogs that have been tortured to death, it will make them more sexually active. The marketing of dog meat as a health food was initiated and perpetuated by the dog meat dealers to keep their billion dollar businesses going. The rationale behind savagely beating a dog to death lies in the primitive idea that when a dog is beaten they produce high levels of adrenaline hence the selling of their meat as a kind of "natural" viagra for impotence and vitality!

This adrenaline rush is achieved by hanging dogs from ropes on trees and leaving them to slowly strangle to death, and then while still alive, their fur is blowtorched off.

A cruel scene of dog abuse

Cats do not hold any position of affection in Korean society. Although they are not eaten as dogs are many attempts have been made to eradicate them, not by humane methods, but rather by beating the animals to death in sacks or, in some cases, boiling them alive in large pressure cookers to supply the insatiable demand for another "herbal" remedy — although clearly animals do not fall into this category.

The South Korean government does not enforce its animal welfare laws so people make an assumption that farming dogs, slaughtering them and selling their meat is legal. It is not. The sale and cooking of dogs is illegal under Korea's food and sanitation laws but still the practice continues.

South Korea's laws prohibiting the consumption of dogs and cats have been routinely ignored and disregarded by law enforcement. Korea's Ministry for the Office of Government Policy Coordination announced in January that it was to begin inspecting dog meat for sanitation, thus giving dog meat its seal of approval. The Government promised that it was backing away from this deplorable plan in February after being inundated with thousands of letters, phone calls, and e-mails from concerned citizens and animal protectionists around the world. However, the Government is once again leaning toward supporting the Ministry's back-door efforts to legalize dog meat.

Before dogs are killed for meat, they are often strung up by their legs and beaten. Dog butchers extol the virtues of their product, linking the adrenaline rush dogs experience as they are bludgeoned to death to enhanced male virility. Cats fare no better — viewed as pest animals, they are boiled alive so their "juices" can be extracted for supposed health tonics which butchers claim can be used to treat rheumatism.

"It's inconceivable that as the rest of the modern world is strengthening animal protection laws, the Korean Government is allowing 'man's best friends' to be boiled alive, beaten, butchered, and eaten under its knowing watch," says IDA president and founder Elliot M. Katz, DVM.

Dogs brutally and illegally butchered by a man with knife

For more information on IDA and its Korean Animals Campaign, please visit For more information on Animal Freedom Korea, please visit
Scandal in South Korea
You may find this article extremely harrowing, and indeed it sounds medieval doesn't it? A country where dogs and cats, loved as companion animals around the globe, are served up as a 'gourmet' food. Yet this is the reality today in South Korea.

Many Koreans claim that eating dogs has a long tradition although others believe that eating dogs only began as a result of the Korean war, when starvation was rife. The popularity of dog meat dishes today has come about because dog dealers and restaurants began to invent stories about the health benefits to be gained from eating dog meat.

In order to meet the demand for dog meat (estimated at 2-2.8 million dogs and cats per year), farms exist throughout the country to breed these animals for slaughter. Dog meat, at $30 US dollars per kilo, costs more than beef and is eaten more than lamb.

Dogs can commonly be seen in Korean markets being killed (hopefully) by hammer blows to the head before being skinned. Sometimes the dog is electrified instead, with electrodes fixed to the tongue. Yet another favoured method is slow strangulation by hanging. The flesh is then singed by a blowtorch to improve its appearance. On some occasions, the animal remains alive throughout, eventually dying from shock. This is all performed in full view of other dogs crammed in cages awaiting the same fate.

The Koreans actually believe that the adrenaline released into the dogs' bloodstreams by their sheer terror and agony will increase the sexual potency of the consumer.

Shocking eye-witness testimony

Not surprisingly, photographs of this form of "slaughter" are difficult to obtain. The following is an account from an eye-witness, "The reason why dogs are beaten for so long is that there is a belief that the slower & more painful the death is, the more potent the dog's meat will be. Killing the dog slowly causes the dog's adrenaline to flow, and this flow of adrenaline throughout the dog is believed to increase the aphrodisiac power of the meat. While the dog is slowly being killed, it is of course screaming in pain, and trying to resist the grip of the man doing the killing. One method is to tie the dog from his hind legs upside down. (All other accounts say that the dog is hung from the neck). The man or men than beat the dog's body all over with clubs or bats. Beating it this way is said to do two things. One is to increase the flow of adrenalin and the other is to tenderize the meat.

Dogs in squalid conditions in South Korea

"While the dog is being beaten, it gets to the point where it urinates and defecates on itself, and the urine & faeces typically flow down the dog's body, getting in its eyes and causing more pain. Eventually, during this intensive beating, blood flows out of the dog's mouth and nose due to internal bleeding, and it finally dies. This beating process has no set time and it can take from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the man doing the killing and how strongly he believe that beating it slowly is best for a quality aphrodisiac. I hope this clarifies why the dogs are beaten first. In a large facility, the dogs may not be hung by their hind legs. Instead the man enters the large dog cage, selects the dog, grabs it, and while holding it by the neck, begins to beat it in the head in order to crush the skull. Of course, there are so many methods of beating the dogs because there is no regulation on this."


Although cats are also eaten in South Korea, it is more usual for them to be rendered into a "medicine" to treat rheumatism and arthritis. Unlike dogs, cats are not bred on specialist farms. This would not be cost effective when there are always starving strays. These are collected in sacks and, if lucky, are beaten to death with either a stick or hammer blows to the head. More commonly, they are boiled alive with herbs (sometimes after having their limbs broken to reduce their ability to struggle) until their flesh liquifies. The resulting "liquid cat" (known as "Goyangi soju") is then sold in small sachets. An average size cat, when cooked with dates, herbs and chestnuts, will produce 20-25 of these sachets.

Shocking Eye-witness Testimony

The following is an eye-witness account, reported to the Korean Animal Protection Society (KAPS) by one of its members, Miss Mun Ju-Young.

"While passing by the Kyoung-il Health Food Restaurant, Miss Mun looked in through the window and saw a middle aged women walking slowly among the rows of hissing and boiling cauldrons. In her arms she held a cat, who seemed undisturbed by the water on the floor or the steam so thick in the air. Stopping at one of the hot kettles, the women sniffed once and dropped the cat in to the boiling water. Hideously scalded by the boiling water the cat screamed and clawed its way out but, the blank-faced woman, pushed it back in the water with a stick over and over again until the cat finally lost consciousness. The woman fished it out once more, the cat mewing and whimpering in pain, whereupon the woman pushed it back in for the final time."

Related Articles
    40 Cities Protest S. Korea's Animal Cruelty
    Stop Terrible Atrocities to Dogs, Cats in Korea






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