46 dogs saved from slaughter, reach New York from South Korea | world-news | Hindustan Times
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46 dogs saved from slaughter, reach New York from South Korea

An estimated 17,000 farms where dogs are slaughtered for human consumption still operate in South Korea.

world Updated: Mar 27, 2017 08:41 IST
Two puppies rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm being loaded on an animal transport vehicle near Kennedy Airport on Sunday.
Two puppies rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm being loaded on an animal transport vehicle near Kennedy Airport on Sunday.(AP Photo)

Forty-six dogs were flown to New York from South Korea after being rescued at a farm where they were to be slaughtered for human consumption, animal advocates said.

The Humane Society International is responsible for saving the dogs that were fed barely enough to survive.

The animals arrived at Kennedy International Airport late on Saturday and were headed to emergency shelters in New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Read: ‘Heaven and hell’: Korean dog meat farmers seek new start

The farm in Goyang, a city just north of Seoul, “was more like a dungeon, where there’s very little light, little to no ventilation, so the stench of ammonia would bring tears to your eyes when you walk through,” said Kelly O’Meara, who oversees the society’s companion animal-related international projects.

A dog is pictured in a cage at a dog meat farm in Wonju, South Korea. (Reuters Photo)

“You would see eyes peering at you, but it was hard to actually see the dogs themselves in the dark.”

An estimated 17,000 other such farms still operate in South Korea, said O’Meara. However, she said, it is a diminishing industry in a society where demand for dog meat has been plummeting. Meat from about 2 million dogs is eaten there each year.

In the United States, the rescued dogs will be available for adoption after the shelters evaluate their behaviour and medical needs and make sure each one is ready for a new life in someone’s home.

In South Korea, O’Meara said, the dogs receive no veterinary care of any kind. “They either get through it or they die in their cage and they receive just enough food to get by,” she said.

Rescued dogs wait for transport, at a dog meat farm in Wonju, South Korea. (Reuters Photo)

At the seven farms from which the Humane Society rescued more than 800 dogs since 2015, those to be slaughtered included both mixed breed dogs and purebred ones — from a Chihuahua and a Maltese to various spaniels and a Saint Bernard.

In Pics: Raised for meat in South Korea, these dogs head for new homes in the US

A German shorthaired pointer and a miniature pinscher came from the latest farm.

The Washington-based Humane Society International, which relies on private donations, deals directly with farmers to close down and demolish dog meat businesses and help owners financially to transition to other work.

The animals must be taken abroad, O’Meara said, because they are generally not wanted in South Korea as pets or companion dogs. Some had been abandoned pets, and others were raised to be sold as pets but given to the meat industry if that failed.