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A Dog’s Worst Nightmare: The Dog Meat Trade

For years, dogs and humans have built an everlasting bond. Dogs play several vital roles in society and as pets. Loyal, companion, protector, comforter, intelligent, helper, and friend are a few words that perfectly describe a dog. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, dog owners experience improvement in their physical health such as regular exercise, and psychological health such as lower stress levels, safety, and social support. Reflecting on the role dogs have in our lives and their unconditional love, why would humans choose to torture and abuse them?


Every year, approximately 30 million dogs are tortured and killed for consumption in Asia. Pet dogs, strays, and community dogs that roam the streets are used in the dog meat trade. Dog “thieves” use poison or other methods to capture the dogs for transport. The seized dogs are sold to traders and local restaurant owners. The price of a dog is typically $300, and when combined over a year that equates to approximately $2 million. The dogs that are often sold have not received any medical care and often suffer from diseases that are not treated. Disregarding possible infections, buyers insist on acquiring the dog.  


South Korea is highly involved in the dog meat trade. South Korea uses “dog farms” to overbreed dogs that would later enter the trade. The dogs are typically raised on the farm, but some are stolen pets. The living conditions are horrendous and consist of a small cage with barely any room for movement and enough food and water for survival. Doctors have advised older South Koreans to consume dog meat for nutrition, increased energy, cooling the body during hot seasons, medicinal uses, and promoting healing. Slaughters often use electrocution methods to paralyze and potentially kill the dog. If the dog remains conscious after multiple shocks; the dog’s jugular vein is cut. During the slaughtering process, dogs try to break free, act aggressively, and experience massive amounts of pain. Some slaughterhouses are regulated and restrict the types of animals that are allowed to be slaughtered. Still, others go unnoticed, and slaughterers move to unique places to conduct the killings. 

Diseases and illnesses are overlooked, especially in the dog meat trade, which leads to significant health risks for consumers. Dogs with unknown conditions are commonly captured and enter the business. Rabies is a common virus that is associated with the dog meat trade. Coming in contact, being bit or scratched, and consuming meat from a dog infected with rabies, can be dangerous. Cholera is a common infection associated with the dog meat trade. The bacteria Vibrio cholerae has been found on equipment in slaughterhouses and restaurants, in dog meat, and in the “wastewater” that came from the slaughterhouses. 

Mork Skywalker the bulldog mix puppy was a victim of the Chinese dog meat trade. Harbin SHS, a rescue in Harbin, China, was quick to save the puppy before it was too late. The rescue dedicates its time to saving animals that have been abused, neglected, abandoned, and victims of the meat trade. The animals are put up for adoption and can find their forever homes worldwide. When Nikki Carvey adopted Mork Skywalker from the rescue, he had many health problems. With the help of Harbin SHS, he was able to recover with Carvey by his side. Now, Mork Skywalker is thriving in his forever home. 


Edited by: Whitney Edna Ibe

Photo by: Instagram-@morkskywalker

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