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Rally and march against South Korean dog and cat meat trade today in Washington

“Every year in South Korea, over two million dogs and thousands of cats are killed for food,” said Rosalyn Morrison of Animal Welfare Institute.
Korean Animal Rights Advocates

On the South Korean lunar calendar, today is designated as one of the Bok Days, the three hottest days of summer. For some people, that means it’s also a great time to eat a dog or cat.

Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and In Defense of Animals (IDA) will rally and march through Washington, D.C. today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to try to prevent more of those animals from meeting what AWI calls “a gruesome fate.” Similar demonstrations will take place around the world, according to the group.

Rosalyn Morrison, AWI’s legislative assistant in government and legal affairs said, “Consumption of dog meat increases during South Korea’s scorching hot summers because dog meat enthusiasts believe that eating the meat keeps one cool. This is particularly evident during Bok Days.”

She added that, “Unfortunately, this set of superstitions also dictates that in order to be most effective and enjoyable, the cats and dogs killed for meat should suffer extreme pain and die slow, agonizing deaths before being butchered.

Morrison told Animal Issues that the groups will march up Massachusetts Avenue from DuPont Circle to the South Korean Embassy in support of a proposed law that would prohibit the production and sale of dog and cat meat in that country.

“We hope that these gestures, along with accompanying media attention, will emphasize to the South Korean government that the international community—like the majority of Koreans—disapproves of the superstition-driven torture of dogs and cats,” she said.

Meanwhile, she added, Korean Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) in South Korea has “drafted and has lobbied in support of the Prohibition of Slaughtering and Eating Companion Animals Special Draft Bill, which would protect “companion animals” from slaughter for food.”

Morrison became aware of the dog and cat meat issue during a time when she lived in South Korea, and found that many Koreans shared her concerns.I came to realize that this is not a matter of cultural differences,” she explained, “it is a matter of animal welfare and protection. Accordingly, this event is not intended to be a form of cultural criticism, but rather an expression of support for the protection and welfare of South Korea’s dogs and cats.”

Read an interview with Morrison and more about the issue of dog and cat meat consumption.

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