British MPs are set to discuss South Korea's dog-meat factory farms in a Westminster Hall debate on 12 September. The first Parliament debate on Asia's dog meat trade was held in November 2015, however, South Korea was not a focus, despite the fact that it is the only country in Asia that breeds dogs specifically for human consumption.
According to Humane Society International, there are an estimated 17,000 factory farms where up to 3 million dogs are bred for consumption. The group, which is leading global efforts to expose the dog meat trade, say that the dogs are kept in "filthy and deprived conditions" before eventually being killed by electrocution, hanging or beating.
"Many of the dogs exhibit classic stereotypical bahviour of animals slowly slipping into mental decline due to their monotonous and deprived captivity and constant state of fear," a spokesperson for Humane Society International (HSI) told IBTimes UK. "They are fed on food waste slops, including chicken feet, and are often so sick that [they are] kept alive with excessive use of antibiotics."
HSI has closed down dog farms in South Korea and is flying puppies and dogs to the United States this week. They have expressed concerns over the dogs being kept in barren wire cages, with no protection from the cold winters or the hot summers, as well as having their paws get cut by the wire mesh floor.
Additionally, HSI said that most people in South Korea don't regularly eat dogs. Instead, they noted that the meat is used to make a soup during mainly one month of the year, however, even this practice is believed to be dying amongst the young generations who have become aware of the cruelty behind the dog trade.
"With the upcoming Winter Olympics in 2018 in PyeongChang, Britain could have a key role to play in helping to bring the factory farming dogs in South Korea to an end," a spokesperson for Humane Society International told IBTimes UK. "The UK Parliament debate is a key opportunity for British MPS to discuss how to urge the International Olympics Committee and the South Korean Government to address this growing concern... [and] to end the eating of dogs in South Korea."