These dinners think they are only eating dogs raised for meat, not former pets that were once in family homes. Man in black shirt: I eat a lot of dog meat but never get tired of it. Man in striped shirt: Dog meat doesn’t come from pure-bred pet dogs. We mostly eat mutts, you know, like “dung-dogs”
Interviewer: So are people only eating dogs raised for meat?
Man interviewed: Of course, we only eat those kinds of dogs. Are people really only eating dogs raised for meat? We heard a shocking story from a former dog trader that says otherwise. Former dog trader: If you slaughter and process a dog, you can’t tell if it was a pure-bred pet or a meat dog.
In “gae soju” (dog elixir) places, several small pet dogs are simply used in place of one large meat dog. Larger pure-breeds such as Cocker Spaniels, Schnauzers, and Shi h Tzu are all used for meat. Large numbers of former pet dogs end up in the meat markets, and even sick ones are eaten. The ones that end up in the meat market are often those that were abandoned or sick with
skin or respiratory ailments.
Usually the owner doesn’t want to spend the money to treat them. The following video was recorded by the former dog trader. It contains some graphic content. A dog farm in Gyeonggido province. Here we can see not only large dogs raised for meat but small ones that look like purebreeds. This man is seen dragging a dog somewhere. We catch up to him and discover he is hanging a dog with a rope around his neck.
Dog killer: He looks like his meat is going to be good. The dog hanging is a Schnauzer, a common pet dog. He is trying to breath and with all of his strength is desparately gasping for air He seems to be suffering tremendously and continues to struggle to stay alive. The dog farmer gives him a crushing blow to the head with a wooden stick. He throws the dead dog down. Then he burns the dog’s hair off with a blowtorch. This former pet dog that was once in a human home is turned into a meat. This is a dog Slaughterhouse. Here we see more footage of pet-dog slaughtering. Inside the slaughterhouse, people are in the middle of processing a freshly killed pet dog. Nearby is another pet dog that was just slaughtered. The dog is put into a big pot of boiling water. This makes it easier to remove the dog’s hair. Next, the dog is put into a hair removing machine that spins around and stips the hair.
Black hair along with water comes out. Even though the hair is all gone, the dog is still burned with a blowtorch. The man says this
is because people prefer meat with slightly burned smell. On the cement floor, he butchers the dog. Man 1: Looks tasty. It’s good quality meat, right?
Man 2: It looks good. Former dog trader: Pet dogs are cheaper. They are sold per dog and not by weight at a discount.
They use them as meat because they are cheap. Interviewer: But it’s against one’s moral conscience …
Former dog trader: In order to be in this trade, you can’t have a conscience. If you have a conscience, you can’t be a dog trader. Moran Market in Seongnam-city. The informer said pet dogs were being used as meat but maybe it is not very common. We visited a place known to be the largest distributor of dog meat.
The merchant shows the dog to be slaughtered to a customer. In this place, dogs are slaughtered on the spot. The dog that was slaughtered just moments ago is put on display right next to the live dogs in the cage. We see mostly large meat dogs. So we investigate further. These look like meat dogs and not pet dogs. The dog meat being cut up on the cutting board looks like it came from a large dog. The cuts of dog meat in the refrigerator all seem to have come from a large dog. Merchant: Stomach and hind leg. This is a quarter of a dog. Investigator: Do you have any pet dogs?
Merchant: No. We don’t. As you can see there are no small dogs here. Merchants deny that they distribute pet dogs as meat. However, the way they handle regular dogs is too rough and cruel. Stuffing many dogs into small cage is known as “gae duk (meaning “dogcake”)” and you can see these gae duks everywhere. They even kill the dogs right in front of customers with electrocution rods. It’s as if this shop’s is advertising it’s specialty, allowing people to see dogs killed. We continued to look around the market to see if there are any pet dogs. We found a foreign breed dog in one of the cages. It’s a beagle that is normally a pet dog. Investigator: Is that beagle for meat?
Merchant: No. There is no place to put him so I keep him in the cage. That dog is a pet, so it’s not for meat. Because we show interest in the beagle, the merchant moves it somewhere out of sight. However, he tells another story to someone else.
Merchant: Buy this dog! If you don’t buy now, it will end up in a refrigerator the day after tomorrow. Suspecting that pet dogs are being sold as meat, we went around to the rear alley where the general public usually doesn’t go. We found dog slaughterhouses located closed together here. Dogs in the cages seem to be all large meat dogs. But when we went further into the alley, we saw small dogs that look like pets in the cages. A man is taking a Shih Tzu somewhere as it hangs by its neck. We follow him to a slaughter room. To prevent the dog from moving, the rope is pulled around an iron pin. As the dog senses danger, he struggles to get free. The dog is killed with electrocution. Just as the informant said, the former pets are being distributed as meat in this market. Are there problems with processing these dogs? We observed the butchering process at one slaughterhouse. First, a cut is made up the dog’s front. And then the man put his hand into the dog’s stomach and took out the organs and intestines. After that, he attaches a nozzle to a hose. Then he grabs the knife again and carefully cuts a certain part of the dog. And he attaches the hose and starts pumping the dog full of water. For about 10 minutes he leaves the hose running there. After doing that, the dog is much more swollen than before. See the before (top) and after (bottom). The weight of the dog is significantly increased by filling its body with water.
After water has been absorbed into the flesh, the dismembering process starts. After that, the dog is put into a black plastic bag and then into a car. We decided to follow the car. The car arrives at a local dog meat restaurant. As we enter the restaurant, we can see the black plastic bag that was just dropped off. However, the restaurant owner had no idea the dog meat had been filled with water. Investigator: I’ve heard that dog meat gets filled up with water.
Restaurant owner: I’d get into big trouble if I were to sell that kind of meat. I have been in this business for 30 years. A few days later on a market day, we revisited the market. There is a section of the market that is supposed to be for pet dogs. We were curious, so we asked a merchant if he can slaughter one of these pet dogs for us. Investigator: Can you sell these dogs as meat?
Merchant: Are you two together?
Investigator: Yes. We are together. Merchant: You can slaughter one Balbari (type of pet dog in Korea). To feed how many?
Investigator: About 4.
Merchant: It’s quite enough for 4 people. It weighs at least 7 geun (Korean metric for weight). Merchant: It only costs 5,000 won (approx 4.50 USD) to slaughter this dog.
Investigator: So there is a place that will slaughter this dog for us?
Merchant: Yes. You would have to pay 30,000 won if you went to a country market. Investigator: For the dog and for slaughter service combined?
Merchant: It’s only 25,000 Won here.
Investigator: Let me look around some more. Merchant: This is the best you will find … very heavy too. There is no one who will give you better deal. Shockingly, even the pet dog merchants were selling pet dogs as meat. Merchant: For 3 dogs, 45,000 Won.
Investigator: How much do they weigh? Merchant: About 13-14 geun. This one is 55,000 won. We will slaughtered them into meat … make it very clean for you. It’s tasty. This time we changed our question and asked if they had pet dog meat? Investigator: Let’s see some Balbari.
As we did not use the word “pet dog,” the merchant takes us inside the store and shows us the small dogs that are on display. Merchant: Here are some more.
Investigator: How much are these?
Merchant: 50,000 Won. Investigator: How much do they weigh?
Merchant: About 10 Geun each. People who asks for pet dogs only buys these. There are several pet dogs in a hidden area inside.
Investigator: Are those dogs the ones that are displayed here? Merchant: No. We are going to sell those live.
(They are saying they do not slaughter pet dogs.) It was the same story for other stores.
Undercover: Give me the smallest Balbari.
Merchant: The smallest … these two … 20,000 won each. As if they were disgusted themselves, they were selling these dogs with their heads covered with black plastic bags. More shockingly, they use these small pet dogs to make “dog elixir.”
Investigator: Can you make it with the small pet dogs?
Merchant: Yes. We can. This place had small pet dogs inside the store where it’s less visible. However, in this place too they are saying that these dogs are not for meat.
Investigator: Are those small dogs for meat?
Merchant: Someone has left them with us temporarily. Is it true what they are saying about these small dogs not being for meat?
We decided to purchase a slaughtered dog and have it examined. We took the dog we purchased to a pet hospital and asked the vet for an expert opinion. Veterinarian: Big eyes and a short snout is generally characteristics of either a Shi-Tzu or Pekingese. This dog is very close to a Shi-Tzu. Veterinarian: Long mouth, long body and long legs. So this dog could be a popular pet dog, perhaps a Maltese. Investigator: Is there a possibility that these dogs could be regular meat dog puppies?
Veterinarian: No. There is 0% possibility that these are meat dog puppies. They were definitely pet dogs. People have been eating dog meat as health food for a long time. However, the inconvenient truth is that a large percentage of dogs that are killed for meat are actually former pet dogs. Soyeon Park (activist): Consumers can believe that they eat regular dog meat, and not pet dog meat.
However, the reality is that all dogs should be treated as equal. It is estimated that less than 10% of the dogs are taken care of until their full life expectancy. The remaining 90% of these small pet dogs are either sold to a dog meat farm, a dog elixir maker, or to a dog slaughterer. That is the reality. The fact is a large portion of dog meat people eat comes from former pet dogs–dogs that used to be companions and shared a human home until they were betrayed.