Simon Cowell was recently reunited with a dog he helped rescue from a dog meat farm.
Last year, the plant-based TV personality made a £25,000 donation to help shut down a South Korean dog meat farm. The funds went to international animal rights non-profit Humane Society International (HSI). The donation supported efforts to rescue 200 dogs that were being held on the farm.
“Simon’s generous donation means the world to us, and provides a huge boost to our appeal to close this horrendous dog meat farm,” HSI UK Executive Director Claire Bass said in a statement.
Prior to the start of the pandemic, Cowell sat down with Pip Tomson of Good Morning Britain to discuss Britain’s Got Talent, which Cowell created.
Tomson had a special surprise for the television host. “There was a dog meat farm where there was [sic] 200 dogs,” she explained. “One of those dogs on the dog meat farm that was rescued was little Robin, who I adopted. And he’s here to meet you,” she said.
Cowell appeared very happy to see the rescued pooch. He told Tomson, “without people like you, he’d basically be in someone’s stomach.”
'Without people like you, he'd basically be in someone's stomach.'
Dozens of dogs were saved from slaughter at a South Korean dog meat farm by a donation from @simoncowell.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 16, 2020
South Korea’s Dog Meat Trade
In May, HSI revealed it had successfully closed down its 16th dog meat farm in South Korea. But the organization says more than a million dogs are still killed and eaten in the country each year.
According to the group, many of the dogs suffer from disease and malnutrition. They are also all subjected to extreme neglect on a daily basis. The methods used to kill the dogs are widely considered to be brutal. Electrocution is the most common slaughter method.
“These poor dogs have had the worst lives so far, so we’re desperate to get them out of those dreadful cages and show them love, soft beds, and loving arms for the first time in their lives,” Bass said.
But attitudes towards the dog meat trade in South Korea are changing. In 2018, South Korean officials shut down Taepyeong, the country’s largest dog meat slaughterhouse. And in 2019, the Gupo Livestock Market—one of the nation’s largest markets to sell chilled dog meat and live dogs killed to order—was closed and turned into a public park.
Robin is one success story from the country’s dog meat trade. “Today, Robin is happy, healthy, and loving life with me in Oxfordshire,” Tomson said. “And he’s won the heart of the toughest of judges.”