Dogs destined to be EATEN in South Korea are saved following months spent in cages after coronavirus outbreak delayed their rescue

Dogs destined to be eaten in South Korea have been saved following months of being locked up in cages after the coronavirus outbreak delayed their rescue.

The mission to save around 70 dogs from the meat farm in Hongseong finally got underway after Humane Society International worked with the farmer to convince him to quit the dog meat industry once and for all.

International travel restrictions still mean the dogs can't yet fly to their final destination - Canada and the United States - where they will eventually find adoptive homes.

So in the meantime, HSI is relocating them to a temporary boarding facility in South Korea where they will receive veterinary care rehabilitation. 

Mr Nakseon Kim had been breeding dogs for nearly 40 years but amid growing opposition to eating them, and a series of new regulations and court rulings cracking down on the industry, farmers like Mr Kim are increasingly looking for an exit strategy.

Farmer Kim said: 'It may sound odd but I started dog farming because I like dogs. I've never actually been a big fan of dog meat myself. I had a few dogs so I began breeding them and when I had 20 or 30 I started to sell them because I thought it would be good money but it hasn't really worked out that way.'

At his property in Hongseong, Mr Kim breeds Poodles, Beagles, Huskies, Golden retrievers, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas and Boston terriers for two abusive industries - the meat trade and the puppy mill trade.

After years of sending the animals to slaughter, Mr Kim will now start a new life growing cabbages and other vegetables instead, with the help of the charity.

Mr Kim's farm was the 16th of its kind to be closed since its farmer transition program began in 2015.

Once off the farm, the dogs will receive veterinary attention for any injuries or ailments. For example, Winkie the Boston terrier had a badly injured eye, and Grace the Beagle lost a paw caught in the jagged wire floor of her cage. 

As global pressure builds for countries across Asia to permanently close wildlife wet markets amid coronavirus risks, the array of undeniable human health risks posed by the dog meat trade in South Korea and across Asia, is strengthening calls for action across the continent.