Between March and July 2022, a PETA Asia investigator visited four puppy mills in South Korea. In these establishments, frightened dogs paced frantically in cramped, filthy cages, surrounded by the deafening noise of constant barking. The factory owners have contacts in the government and raise hundreds of millions of South Korean won each year.
One of the owners admitted to raising animals for both the pet industry and the dog fighting industry. When the dogs can no longer fight, they are sold for their meat and slaughtered. Another breeder was removing vocal cords from dogs, and implied he accidentally killed one by giving it the wrong injection.
Dirty, inadequate and dangerous housing
Frightened dogs are kept in dangerously dilapidated, feces-encrusted cages and kennels. Even some small dogs can barely turn around. Many cages are also rusty, which could expose animals to tetanus.
Forced to stand on the wire floor which could injure their paws, the dogs cannot really rest. The smallest of them can get stuck or seriously injured if their paws slip through the wire mesh, and the constant vigilance that ensues is physically and psychologically exhausting. They have no comfort: no litter box, no toys, let alone love, companionship, exercise, or protection from the cold.
With the piles of excrement decomposing under their paws and the ammonia fumes polluting the air, dogs in these four structures are constantly at risk of catching infectious diseases or parasites. Food and water bowls are dirty, and waste fumes are so irritating that they can damage animal skin, eyes and respiratory tracts. These facilities are so unsanitary that puppies born there can quickly succumb to bacterial and viral illnesses. They also represent a threat to public health, with many forms of bacteria and parasites that can be transmitted between dogs and also to humans.
Dogs who suffer from painful skin lesions and chronic stress
Footage shows dogs wasting away with large, open and inflamed lesions, which are likely the result of infections, trauma, allergies or pressure sores caused by unsuitable flooring. Many suffer from persistent skin infections causing incessant itching, bumps, scabs, pain and weakness. If left untreated, these skin conditions can cause serious medical problems.
Frustration and anxiety cause dogs to jump up and down, back and forth, and bark. This environment is so noisy that it can even cause pain or hearing loss. But they cower and freeze when someone approaches: they are terrified of humans.
Mothers and their puppies separated too soon
Puppies under six weeks old are snatched away from their mothers, far too soon. This can increase the risk of disease, and later lead to social and behavioral problems such as biting, compromised immune systems, and psychological distress and anxiety, both in puppies and their mothers. At this age, the former are still learning essential skills from the latter and may not be ready to be weaned (or not so abruptly) from breastfeeding their mothers, which is essential to their health and well-being.
Claiming animal welfare certification is worthless
The puppy mill owner prides himself on running the only company to maintain high animal welfare standards in South Korea. He claims to have been praised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for his status as an exemplary breeder. This praise was clearly unjustified.
PETA Asia filed complaints with the ministry, asking it to investigate these farms for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act (2017), but received no response. The association also lodged a complaint with four police stations, each corresponding to the location of one of the puppy farms. Only one police station has actually visited an establishment – and has still not initiated proceedings.
Pledge to always adopt your dogs and other pets, and never buy them
The selective breeding of dogs to amplify physical characteristics leads to painful genetic problems and the death of dogs in crowded shelters. This practice is dangerous, regardless of the part of the world where it is practiced.
Adopt through an animal shelter and help dogs who are desperate to find homes rather than enrich miserly breeders who breed puppies for profit.
Written by : Marie J. - PETA France