Seventy dogs from a dog farm have been saved in South Korea last week. The rescue was originally scheduled for March, but had to be delayed. The animals that were bred for meat industry and puppy mills had to spend months in cages due to international travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The rescue was organised by Humane Society International (HSI) which managed to convince the farmer to quit the dog meat industry.
Several breeds were found on the farm including Poodles, Beagles, Huskies, Golden retrievers, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas and Boston terriers. The charity relocated the dogs to a temporary boarding place where they will receive veterinary care. The dogs will be later adopted in Canada and the US.
Dog farmer Nakseon Kim who bred dogs for nearly 40 years decided to quit the declining business due to new regulations and court rulings that made the business unprofitable. He also started feeling disgusted at eating dogs.
"It may sound odd but I started dog farming because I like dogs. I've never actually been a big fan of dog meat myself," Kim said.
"I had a few dogs so I began breeding them and when I had 20 or 30 I started to sell them because I thought it would be good money but it hasn't really worked out that way.
"I earn nothing from this dog farm, and pressure from the government is increasing and it's not a good business at all."
HSI is helping the farmer to transform his business into growing vegetables. The charity started a transition program for farmers in 2015. Kim's dog farm is the 16th to be closed since then.
Nara Kim from HSI, said: "Unfortunately, it is still very common in South Korea to see live puppies for sale in pet shop windows.
"But what most Koreans will be shocked to learn is that these same puppies could easily have ended up being killed for human consumption instead.
"Whether they live or die, they are all born in this miserable place, their mothers intensively bred over and over until they are exhausted and eventually sold to slaughterhouses.
"I'm so glad that this nightmare has ended for these lovely dogs, but until the government commits to phase out this dreadful industry, the nightmare continues for millions more.
"As Koreans we need to be their voice and call for an end to the dog farming and dog meat industries."
Eating of dog meat has been declining in Asia, and it is strictly prohibited in Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines.
Last month, several cities in China banned dog and cat meat consumption.