CARE visited the Taepyeong dog slaughterhouse on the 15th of August. The dogs rescued from the slaughterhouse at that time were discovered to be infected with Canine Influenza.
The reason for this is that living dogs were kept in the same cages as dogs who had died. Before they died, more than 10 of the dogs were coughing up blood. It is evident that the dogs had died from a contagious disease.
CARE removed 5 dead dogs and two very sick dogs from the cages. On examination, the sick dogs tested positive for Canine Influenza. Unfortunately, after examination, both of the sick dogs died coughing blood. Canine Influenza is a highly contagious airborne virus.
Professor Dae Seop Song, who discovered H3N2 Canine Influenza in a dog farm in Gimpo in 2006 said that “Although the direct mortality rate for Canine Influenza is only around 10%, secondary infection can increase that rate to over 50%.” Dog farms and slaughterhouses are very unsanitary places, so the death rates from Canine Influenza are consequently very high.
H3N2 is a mutation of low-pathogenic Avian Influenza and was discovered by genetic analysis by Professor Song. No humans have currently been found to have been infected by H3N2 Canine Influenza, but as the virus constantly mutates, it could represent a threat to humans.
The dog meat industry is trading in dogs and dog meat that is infected by Canine Influenza. It is just as much as a criminal act as trading in poultry and pigs infected by Avian Influenza and Foot & Mouth Disease. The Food Sanitation Act Article 5 states that the meat, bone, and organs of infected or possibly infected animals cannot be sold, or processed, displayed, or cooked.
CARE filed an official complaint with the Seongnam Prosecutors Office against 5 vendors in Moran Market for violating of the Food Sanitation Act. We have also filed a formal request with the Ministry of Food & Drug Safety to check the safety of dog meat as food.
Illegal dog farms and slaughterhouses are the problems because of the unsanitary conditions that prevail there. We fail to understand the attitude of the government allowing this illegal trade to continue. We must ban the illegal slaughter of dogs and the sale of dog meat before Canine Influenza crosses over to infect humans.
CARE will protest against the government for allowing this threat to citizens’ health and safety to continue.
We demand the following from the government:
- Conduct an epidemiological survey of canine Influenza at Taepyeong slaughterhouse.
- Ban the slaughter and trade of dogs and dog meat by Taepyeong slaughterhouse.
- Conduct a nationwide investigation of Canine Influenza in dog slaughterhouses and dog farms.
- Provide a response to the proposed legislation by Chang Won Pyo regarding the ban illegal dog slaughter.
- The Secretary for Agriculture and Fisheries must meet with the organizations who sponsored the petition for the above Chang Won Pyo legislation.