Among KARA’s numerous campaigns, one that receives a high priority and focus is the campaign against the dog meat industry. The dog meat issue receives a lot of attention because it is a problem pertinent to Korea and the issues surrounding it are not often addressed or fully exposed by groups outside of Korea.
Another reason is that for KARA, the problems surrounding the dog meat industry are flash-points for problems that concern Korean animal welfare in general. Making advances to stop the evils perpetrated against dogs will have the flow on effect of improving welfare for other animals.
KARA believes that educating people, so that they recognize that dogs are sentient beings, and getting these people to understand that the dog meat industry causes reprehensible suffering, will help in bringing an end to the industry. Education efforts may also lead to legal reforms that reflect the demands of a more enlightened community. Alternatively, if laws can be changed, this is likely to raise the public's ethical awareness.
Lobbying for legal reform directly has been another means by which KARA has fought for change. It has sought to prohibit slaughtering dogs and cats for human consumption by drafting legislation to override the current Animal Protection Law. KARA drafted the Prohibition of Slaughtering and Eating Companion Animals Special Draft Bill, by which “companion animals” would be protected from importing, slaughtering for food and trading. Lobby attempts have not been successful to date.
KARA also fights the dog meat industry by reporting illegal actions that even government officials cannot ignore. KARA actively reports and keeps track of offical action against the presence of illegal dog farms and slaughterhouses. Sometimes KARA gets tip-offs about such places and then registers formal complaints with the authorities in the area. This has lead to some successes. However, the nature of this malignant industry is that operators will close down one place and open up in another, always trying to make a fast buck out of the misery of dogs.
Reporting illegal activities includes alerting authorities to illegal signs that are posted along the streets, such as those from Namyangju City where the dog meat business has expanded to over 75 establishments over the years. One of the signs seen there reads "a whole dog available to eat," as if it were like a whole roast pig. If businesses are forced to take their signs down, perhaps they will also be forced to shut down.
It is an uphill battle for KARA because instead of solutions to prevent abuses and cruelty against dogs, certain National Ministry officials, lawmakers, and public government officials support the dog meat industry. Perhaps they have the view that the dog meat industry makes money and keeps people employed, so it should be preserved, or they might believe in all of the "tradition" mumbo-jumbo. Either way, ethical concerns seem to be the last thing on their minds. Another barrier to change is the underground and insidious nature of the industry. Dog meat myths, ignorance and subculture surrounding it are fixed in the minds of backward people.
Rest assured, however, that in the battle against the dog meat industry KARA will settle for nothing less than its complete abolition.