South Korea’s second-biggest dog meat market is finally closing after years of campaigning and negotiating by animal activists.

The 19 dog meat merchants at the Gupo Meat Market in Busan’s Buk district will shut down all operations before July 12th, as the district gears up to transform the market into a new mega shopping mall.

“In order to escape the stigma of animal abuse, the district office will create a pleasant environment by creating animal-friendly streets in the future,” said Buk District Mayor Jeong Myeong-hui.

The date of the closure is significant, falling just before Boknal — the hottest period of the year, when people slaughter around 1.5 million dogs and consume a soup made from the meat.

Gupo Dog Meat Market has been operating since the Joseon era and became one of the largest in the country during the ‘70s and 80s when it contained more than 70 dog slaughterhouses.

Over the last few years, the number of shops selling dog meat has decreased, as the local government increased efforts to make the city more attractive to tourists.

Animal advocacy organizations such as  Save Korean Dogs, Animals Asia and many others have been striving to close down this hell on earth for dogs, and their efforts have finally paid off.

Over this period, various representatives have visited the market frequently, meeting with officials to push for the closure. This cruel market received nearly 250 complaints related to dog slaughtering in 2016, surrounding the illegal killing of dogs, animal welfare, and the noise and smell of the butcher shops.

To compensate the dog meat merchants for the shutdown, Busan officials will provide financial support up until December 2020, and give incentives for the vendors to open alternative businesses inside the newly renovated mall.

While this long-awaited victory is an important step forward in the fight against dog meat, millions of canines still suffer and die every year in South Korea. You can speak out against this cruelty by signing our petition calling for an end to illegal dog meat farms in the nation.

Sign: Ban The Horrific Dog Meat Trade in S. Korea