Korea to crack down on Moran Market during World Cup
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2002:
SEOUL, South Korea– Trying to reduce visitor awareness of
dog-and-cat-eating during the 2002 World Cup soccer tournament,
starting in May, the government of South Korea on February 19 asked
the 22 dog meat vendors who sell at the Moran Market in Sungnam City
for “a voluntary discontinuation of all illegal sales and practices.”
The Moran Market, the largest dog meat sales location in
Korea, occupies a slum district across the Han River from Seoul,
between the waterfront and the Moran railroad yard.
Issued in Korean only, not described in English until March
5, the government request was a rare reminder to Moran Market dog
dealers that their business was in fact outlawed in 1991, even
though the law has never been enforced.
“The crackdown is especially focused on the dog trade, but
chicken, rabbit, and other food-related trading and slaughtering in
the open market is under fire in this city-wide clean-up,” wrote
Associated Press reporter Kim Kyoung Tae. “From March to June,” Kim
Kyoung Tae continued, “200 government officials will investigate the
remaining businesses” at the Moran Market. “If any illegal
businesses still have not voluntarily complied by July, they will be
By July, the World Cup will be over. Veteran
anti-dog-and-cat-meat campaigners took the phrasing to mean that the
1991 law, which explicitly banned only the sale of “unsightly” food,
will be enforced until World Cup visitors leave. After that, the
Moran Market may return to business as usual.
The government request was nonetheless encouraging in
incorporating awareness that the treatment of all animals at the
Moran Market, not just dogs, is at issue.
Since visiting the Moran Market in May 2001, ANIMAL PEOPLE
has made a point of prominently mentioning abuses of chickens and
rabbits, as well as dogs and cats, in e-mails to South Korean
officials and news media.
A hidden consideration may be that Sungnam City is not only
hosting World Cup games at two stadiums, but is also serving as host
city to the Costa Rican national soccer team. Korean officials
monitoring ANIMAL PEOPLE coverage of dog-and-cat-eating may have seen
the December page one coverage of the Costa Rican commitment to the
“No-kill, no shelters” street dog and feral cat control program
introduced by the Costa Rican Veterinary Licensing Board.
A further sign of intensifying South Korean government
concern about how the Korean treatment of animals is perceived is an
ongoing national crackdown on wildlife poaching. The Supreme Public
Prosecutor’s Office said on March 21 that the number of poachers
arrested rose from 1,018 in 2000 to 1,328 in 2001, after 500 were
nabbed in December 2001 alone.
The Korea Food and Drug Administration confirmed in February
that it plans to introduce a draft bill to regulate laboratory use of
animals before the World Cup starts.
Modeled after the U.S. Animal Welfare Act, “The law will
create an environment in which researchers will be obliged to apply a
higher set of ethical guidelines when conducting animal experiments,”
KFDA laboratory animal resources chief Chae Kab-ryong told Korea
Herald reporter Kim Min-hee. “We expect the law to reduce the number
of unnecessary animal experiments by a large margin,” Chae Kabryong
But Sungkonghoe University professor and Voice-4-Animals
founder Park Chang-kil warned that the draft legislation is weaker
than the Animal Welfare Act, and might only shield the much
subsidized South Korean biotech industry from humane scrutiny.
But South Korean biotech prestige fell in January 2002,
after genetic testing revealed that only six of 39 calves reportedly
born as result of somatic cell cloning between June 2000 and November
2001 were in fact clones.
The other 33 “are presumed to have been born through
artificial fertilization,” agriculture and forestry ministry
official Chung Jong-Hak told Agence France-Presse, after the
National Livestock Research Institute revealed the misrepresentation.
Unclear is whether the artificial fertilization occurred through
scientific fraud or through repeated technical error. Either way,
the episode strengthened calls for better oversight of South Korean