An animal welfare group in South Korea makes deals with dog farm owners to save dogs from dinner bowls in exchange for compensation as Seoul government orders closure of some dog meat markets.

In this picture taken on November 28, 2017, Lola Webber of the Humane Society International interacts with a dog in a cage at a dog farm during a rescue event, involving the closure of the farm in Namyangju on the outskirts of Seoul, South Korea.
In this picture taken on November 28, 2017, Lola Webber of the Humane Society International interacts with a dog in a cage at a dog farm during a rescue event, involving the closure of the farm in Namyangju on the outskirts of Seoul, South Korea. (AFP)

Ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, an heated debate is underway in South Korea sparked by a campaign to rescue dogs from being reared for meat.

US-based animal welfare group Humane Society International (HSI) signed a deal with dog-meat farmer Kim Young-Hwan which forces him to close his farm in exchange for compensation. 

Saved from the dinner plate, the dogs are bound for a new life in adoptive homes in the West, according to the deal.

Kim's farmer is the 10th canine-meat farmer to accept such an offer in three years. Earlier this year South Korean authorities also ordered the closure of South Korea's third largest dog meat market in Seongnam due to the pressure.

Moreover, activists have recently stepped up campaigns to ban dog consumption, with online petitions urging boycotts of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics over the issue and protests in Seoul.

The push to outlaw dog meat consumption in the country has sparked mixed reactions from South Koreans, who are believed to consume about one million dogs a year.

"The reason why dog meat farms are being cut down by Westerners is because our country is weak. If our country was a superpower then that would never happen to us. Dog meat is a part of our culture, our native culture," says Kim.

TRT World's Usmaan Lone has more on the story.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies