Dog Meat Festival Canceled Due To Public Backlash

A girl holds a placard reading “Don’t eat my friends, please,” as part of a protest against eating dog meat. Photo credit: Korea Times

A group of “dog farmers” decided to cancel a dog meat festival after animal rights groups strongly protested, according to the Korea Times.

The Korea Dog Farmers’ Association had announced earlier it planned to hold the “2011 Dog Meat Festival” at Moran Traditional Market in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, on July 1.

They said the festival was intended to promote the idea of dogs being raised like livestock at sanitary facilities for human consumption. They also said that dogs should be classified as such to ensure they are bred in a safer and more sanitary manner.

But their plan immediately reignited a decades-old controversy over Koreans’ consumption of the animal, considered man’s best friend in many countries, and drew severe criticism. It later led the market’s meat sellers, the co-hosts of the event, to withdraw the plan for fear that it could harm their reputation.

“We first thought it was just an event to invite senior citizens and offer them free meals,” a meat seller at the market said. “But the dog farmers’ association seemed to want to use the event in a different way from what we first thought.”

The sudden cancellation came after animal rights groups vowed to prevent the planned festival by mobilizing whatever means necessary, stressing that it is inhuman and unethical to eat meat from dogs. They said if the event proceeds, it will seriously tarnish Korea’s image abroad and turn more foreigners hostile toward the country.

“We are prepared to break the law if that is the only way to stop the festival from taking place. It is just absurd to organize such an event. The organizers must be insane. The festival will definitely hurt Korea’s international image and discourage many foreigners from coming here,” said Park So-young, president of the Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth.