Animal welfare group representatives, including some from KARA, hold a protest banner in front of the National Assembly building.
On November 25, 2009, KARA discovered that MBC plans to televise a program called Korea’s Wildlife Rescue Hunters on December 6, which will show celebrities out hunting and killing wild pigs. The producer wants to make the program a weekly series. Below is the advertisement for the hunting program (translated):
"Korea’s rescue of wild animals. Hunter’s are out to guard the ever declining wildlife of Korea. Celebrities are up to the challenge in the savage, rough world of nature. See them on a thrilling adventure."
News of this was reported in the media and KARA's Director Soonrye Yim swiftly sent a letter of protest to MBC.
KARA's letter of protest (translated):
You are currently advertising Korea’s Wildlife Rescue Hunters as part of a series staring celebrities called On Sunday, Sunday Night. We want you to stop this program from making entertainment out of killing pigs and bringing it into the living rooms of TV viewers.
Korea’s wildlife and environment are being killed off and are in decline due to mass development. The lives of all animals and plants are interconnected. Humans are causing this problem. Can’t you see that? And it is not only development that is the problem.
Tigers, the symbol of Korea, moon bears, foxes, wolves--they are all being shamefully hunted out of existence because of cruel hunter’s traps or hunter's guns. In addition, the road kills of wildlife are having a terrible impact.
Even if reports point to an increase in the population of wild boars, that overpopulation problem is caused by human mismanagement.
Your program called Korea’s Wildlife Rescue Hunters is an affront to decency and shows contempt for all life. To show injured wildlife through your program is barbaric and cruel. We protest against making such insensitive and ruthlessness behavior into entertainment. You are simply using the need to decrease the population of pigs as an excuse. We object to you showing a pig's life taken away mercilessly as it came out looking for food. We object to you promoting the program as a “thrilling adventure of live action" with total disregard for animal life.
In order to save the wild life and plants it is people like you who should be removed from nature. The ones that must be rescued are people like you, rescued from your ignorance, arrogance, and lack of sensitivity and understanding.
- The Hunters program must be cancelled.
- MBC’s president must officially give an apology.
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You may also write a letter of protest or make a call.
MBC's telephone numbers are 02-789-0011 or 02-780-0011. It's consulting center is 02-780-0015 or 02-789-3300.
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After the letter was sent, an urgent news conference was called with participants from a number of animal welfare, social and environmental groups. The news conference was held in the National Assembly building's press room on November 30 at 2 pm.
Here are members of the collective delegation consulting with Seung Soo Cho of the New Progressive Party. He checked over the content of the press release and led the delegation into the press room, where he explained why we were there and introduced everyone.
The phalanx of news services, including MBC, were on hand to record the event. KARA had handouts for the press, which included a box full of copies of it's magazine Soom.
Then it was time to stand and deliver. Different speakers read out their objections. A number of news services ran the story online later that day and the image above was taken from one of them.
After the conference, a banner was unfurled in front of the National Assembly building and held by the various representatives (as shown in the very first image above). This was part of a photo session that concluded the proceedings. More protest actions are planned including a rally on December 3.
Update, January 3, 2010:
It is with great relief that we can report the cancellation of MBC’s Sunday night hunters program. The announcement of the cancellation came in a statement by MBC's hunting program director on the afternoon of the December 28, 2009.
We would like to thank the MBC producers and directors of the hunters program for recognizing that the program was not a good idea and that they have a responsibility as an influential media organization to set a good example. They also realized that a such program that exploits animals in such a violent way for entertainment goes against public opinion.
Instead of the hunters program, MBC will show a program devoted to wildlife problems. We welcome this more peaceful and harmonious alternative.
MBC is to be congratulated for listening to the public and for showing that it is striving to fulfill its corporate and social responsibilities. We would like thank MBC for its decision.
We would also like to thank the other groups that campaigned with KARA to bring about this excellent result.
Association of Environmental Protection (Green Advancement, Association of Environmental Movement, Environmental Justice)
Animal Protection Groups (Association of Cat Welfare, KARA, Korea Animal Rights Advocates, Association of Love for Animals Activists, Animal Protection Association, Forum for the Prevention of Animal Abuse and Violence)
Life Movement Group (Durae Wildlife Group, Induramung Wildlife Coalition, Coalition of Grass Flower World, Research Center of Care for Life and Living)
Bhuddhist Movement Association (Association of Bhuddhism, Bhuddhist Concern for the Environment Group)
Women’s Association (Coalition of Korean Womens Movement)
Viewers Association (Corporation of Bori Broadcast Monitoring Group)
Democratic and Labor Party, Progress Party, Green Group Peoples Committee