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Petition presses Coquitlam to speak out on Korean dog meat trade

Click to play video: 'Activists rescue dogs raised for meat from farms in South Korea'
Activists rescue dogs raised for meat from farms in South Korea
Jan, 2017: Activists rescue dogs raised for meat from farms in South Korea – Jan 10, 2017

The City of Coquitlam is being urged to take a stand on the practice of dog meat consumption in South Korea.

Dog meat, known as Gaegogi in South Korea, has been used as a food for centuries, but its popularity has been waning. Even so, an estimated two million dogs are killed for food every year in the country.

Coquitlam is a sister city with the South Korean municipality of Paju, a relationship campaigners are now looking to exploit in a bid to end what they call the “aberrant and cruel practices routinely carried out in the dog and cat meat trades in Paju and all over South Korea.”

A petition launched this summer asking Coquitlam City Council to tell Paju that it opposes the torture and consumption of dogs has garnered just over 13,000 signatures.

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Similar petitions have been launched in other Lower Mainland cities, including Burnaby and Surrey.

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Coquitlam City Councilor Mae Reid said she’s broached the issue with her colleagues.

“There are so many people that are really upset about the issue, as I or anyone else should be, and I have discussed it with a few folks at council,” she said.

“And the answers I got back were ‘well it’s different cultures, they do different things’.”

WATCH: 100 puppies rescued from South Korean dog meat farm get a second chance at life

But regardless of cultural differences, Reid said there are reasons to push for the end of the practice.

“You realize in Canada that people grow up eating one animal or another, or a bird or something, and to us, it may seem unacceptable. But to them it’s the way they’ve grown up,” she said.

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“But what has upset me is the fact that some of these animals are tortured and the way they’re killed.”

Reid said council has received a flood of letters in support of the petition from all around the world.

While public sentiment is shifting in Korea, with dogs increasingly seen as pets rather than food, the meat is still popular with many older Koreans.

The Humane Society International (HSI) estimates that there are about 17,000 farms in South Korea raising dogs for their meat.

Activists argue that many of these animals are kept in horrific conditions, and are pressuring the country to ban the practice ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

 

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