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8845[South Korea] On dog meat day, pups in Seongnam breathe a slight sigh of relief

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  • April Kim
    Jul 18, 2014

      Local government announces plans to turn notorious dog meat market into a park

      By Choi Woo-ri, staff reporter With Chobok (July 18, a summer day when dog meat is traditionally eaten for health in Korea) just around the corner, man’s best friend is getting a bit of good news. The dog slaughterhouse located next door to the dog meat mecca known as Moran Market in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, will be leveled and a park erected on the spot.

      On July 4, Seongnam City went public with plans to turn the 37,000m2 plot next to Moran Market into a public park, to be called Million Man Park, by early 2017.

      “In front of the slaughter ground and the breeding area is a flower garden, and across the road from the garden is a high-rise apartment complex. We’ve gotten a lot of complaints from residents about the stench and the sound of dogs being butchered,” said Lee Jeong-eun, chief of the city’s park services.

      The site is currently the location of a slaughterhouse and seven dog breeders who supply dog meat to Moran Market. There are 73 licensed butchers at the site.

      According to a report prepared for the city, 80% (30,625m2) of the land that will be turned into a park is privately owned, and 5,007m2 of this is being used to breed and slaughter dogs. The city announced it would be buying the land at the end of June, and it is currently waiting for the land value to be appraised.

      Animal rights groups welcomed the decision to shut down the dog pens and slaughterhouse. In a statement released on July 14, Korea Animal Rights Advocates, or KARA, expressed its enthusiastic support for the city’s announcement. “Turning a dog breeding area into a park is a big turning point for animal rights,” KARA said in the statement.

      Vendors in Moran Market did not seem too concerned about the city’s plans. “Chobok is on its way, so we’re pretty busy. Besides the slaughter house where the park will be built, there are other slaughter houses inside Moran Market,” said the owner of Healthy House, a restaurant selling dog meat soup.

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