A Minnesota-based rescue group is saving golden retrievers from China’s dog meat trade.
NCB4i reports that since 1985, Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest (RAGOM) has worked to rescue thousands of golden retrievers and golden retriever mix breeds. Recently, they’ve begun saving the dogs from China’s meat markets. Around 10 million dogs are killed for their meat every year in the country, which is the largest consumer of dog meat in the world.
RAGOM claims that golden retrievers aren’t usually bred for food, but they are often stolen. “I learned while I was over there, they don’t walk dogs on leashes,” explained Nicole Studzia, a member of RAGOM’s board of directors. “It’s very easy for somebody to jump out of a truck, grab a dog, jump in, and drive off.”
Among RAGOM’s thousands of success stories is Mama. When the organization found her, she’d just had puppies and “her eyes held intense sadness,” says a RAGOM press release.
Studzia explained, “RAGOM village kind of rallied together and a volunteer was kind enough to go over there with her husband and daughter and they were able to bring Mama back with four others. It’s unbelievable to me that she made it back there.”
Mama — together with Georgia, Sissy, Jovi, and Mosby — is now being cared for in a foster home and is receiving the veterinary care, love, and affection she needs.
RAGOM is taking another trip to China this month, to rescue more dogs like Mama from the meat trade.
The Decline of Dog Meat
Dog meat is eaten a number of countries around the world, but it’s most popular in a handful of Asian countries, including China, South Korea, and Vietnam. However, attitudes towards the trade are changing.
At the beginning of this month, one of South Korea’s biggest dog meat markets in Busan closed down. Local authorities reportedly came to an agreement with the market’s 19 dog meat sellers to end their businesses this month.
The news comes after a 2018 survey revealed 70 percent of South Koreans believe they won’t eat dog meat in the future.
Progress is also being made in Vietnam. Last October, the nation’s capital Hanoi announced a ban on dog meat, which will come into effect in 2021.