Largest Dog Meat Market In Busan, South Korea Was Finally Shut Down With 80 Dogs Being Rescued


Last July 1, animal welfare charities all hailed success as the infamous and largest dog meat market located in South Korea was finally shut down. 

Busan’s Gupo dog meat market was one of the largest selling markets for chilled dog meat, as well as live dogs that were killed upon order. 

As an agreement between both parties, the local meat vendors were offered compensation in order for them to open alternative businesses. Aside from this, another part of the agreement with the local authorities was to be able to rescue the dogs that were still alive in the meat market. 

All the rescued dogs were turned over to the care of different animal charities who had worked with the authorities to finally shut down the market such as – Korean Animal Welfare Association (KAWA), Humane Society International (HSI), Korean Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) and the Busan Korean Alliance for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (KAPCA). 


HSI dog meat campaigner Nara Kim, who was present at the closure and rescue described the area as ‘really upsetting’ with all the dogs displayed in cages. ‘The smell was overwhelming,’ Kim added. 

She also stated: 

“I cannot express enough my joy at helping to close down the dog meat shops and slaughterhouse at Gupo market. For decades they have stood as a very public symbol of the immense cruelty of the dog meat trade, with live dogs displayed in cages on the street for shoppers to select for slaughter by electrocution.

The closure of Gupo’s dog meat market means the end of a gruesome era in South Korea’s dog meat history, and a sign of the times that law enforcement and local authorities are cracking down on this increasingly unpopular industry that most Koreans want nothing to do with.

I know we have a long way to go to end the dog meat trade here, but even two years ago I would never have believed we would see such progress. It has been a pleasure to work with the Busan authorities, and especially in being able to save the last remaining dogs we found alive.

All rescued dogs will be transferred to a temporary shelter to be given time to recover from this traumatizing ordeal. After this, some will be adopted into new homes in Korea, while the others will be flown overseas by HSI to the United States and Canada to receive the care they need, before being sent to their adoptive homes. 

Gupo Market’s shutdown is the latest of the official’s crackdowns on dog meat trade. In 2018, the government finally demolished the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse, Taepyeong in Seongnam City. Part of this closure also led to a crackdown of dog meat vendors in that area. 


Although these markets have been getting shut down, there are still approximately 2 million dogs being bred in dog meat farms all over the country whose lives are suffering, just to end it with cruel and brutal deaths. 

HSI continues on with their work to keep pushing dog meat farmers to shut down these breeding grounds and helping them seek an alternative livelihood. 

Korean Animal Rights Advocates’ Aim Soonrye said: 

“The Korean dog meat industry is starting to fall. As local governments are moving forward, the Korean government must also take action by closing all illegal dog farms.

We welcome the decision made by Busan Metropolitan City and the merchants of Gupo, and believe that the shutdown of Gupo dog market will be a major stepping stone towards ending dog meat in Korea.”

Although the closing of the Gupo Market is a big step along the right direction, there is still a lot more that needs to be done. This industry still remains to be in legal limbo in South Korea because the various provisions of the Animal Protection Act are continuously violated, with the most popular violation as killing of animals in a brutal manner such as hanging and electrocution. 

Hopefully this small victory will lead the way of ending this horrifying practice throughout the whole country sooner, rather than later. 





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