South Koreans Consume 2 Million Dogs Annually
About 30 dog meat restaurants in the urban area are subject to the inspection by the city officials. The restaurants are given no warnings against inspections of the sanitary conditions.
Courtesy of Kyunghyang.com"If dog is considered as meat and thus if they keep checking the sanitation condition because of the people's safety, more people will consider that the dog is a edible animal," said Park.The spokesperson of the Seoul city, however, said that the control over the dog meat restaurant is far from approval of dog meat. Meanwhile, the officials randomly visited the well-known dog soup restaurant in Mapo-gu in Seoul on July 16, 2008. According to Kyunghyang.com, there were tens of cockroaches on the wall right beside the boiling soup. Also, the wall was smudged with oil stains and grease spots. Food scraps were stuck to the chopping board, knives, dippers and other cooking kits and there were flies everywhere. The sink hole on the floor was filled with food scraps giving off a horrible smell. This restaurant rises up to second floor and has 70-80 seats as well as parking places. Because of it popularity, the restaurant was famous in Sinchon, Seoul for 15 years and the owner moved and enlarged the place to Mapo-gu two years ago. "I was just too greedy to do bigger business and I couldn't take care of sanitation of the kitchen due to the personal debt I have for the restaurant," the restaurant owner said with regret, according to Kyunghyang.com. The official responsible for the regulation said in Kyunghyang.com that the suspension of the business is inevitable if the restaurant's hygiene condition is this bad."How can someone be so irresponsible when the labor cost is not that much? The sanitary condition can be easily settled depending on the owner's will," the official said, according to Kyunghyang.com. The officials gave confirmation letter of inspection to the restaurant owners with poor hygienic condition. There will be appropriate disciplinary action according to the result of germs and food poisoning bacteria on cooking kits and facilities. The punishment include revocation of restaurant license if the restaurant is picked up three times in a year, suspension and fine depending on the severity of the sanitary condition. Seoul city will have their first control over dog-dealing restaurants until July 18, 2008. After the bacteria sampling examination of about 25 places, there will be a strict spot check starting from July 29 to August 8, 2008.Koreans are known to enjoy dog meats particularly during the sweltering summer days. In Seoul area alone there are some 6,000 restaurants selling dog meat.Annually 2 million dogs are butchered for the human consumption in South Korea.
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Grace Kim serves as staff reporter of The Seoul Times. Born in Connecticut in the US, she grew up both in S. Korea and in the US. She studied political science and sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Perfect bilingual Grace covers political and foreign communities. Her hobbies include jogging and swimming.
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