The man behind “America’s Got Talent,” Simon Cowell, has donated over $30,000 of his own money to shut down a dog meat farm in South Korea.
The generous gift was announced via the twitter account of the Humane Society International (HSI), a charity that tackles animal cruelty issues across the globe.
DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT: With us leaving next week to save 200+ dogs on a SK dog meat farm, TV personality @SimonCowell has agreed to match ALL donations up to £25,000! Give TODAY to have your donation matched to support this rescue & protect animals worldwide: https://t.co/Vpet497GSB pic.twitter.com/uJDK7fi7aT
— Humane Society Int'l (@HSIGlobal) September 28, 2018
Cowell, an avid lover of animals, hopes that his act of generosity will save over 200 dogs and puppies from a South Korean dog farm that rears the animals for human consumption. According to PEOPLE, the charity will send personnel to the Asian nation next week to rescue the dogs, before sending them across the world for recovery and adoption.
“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. “More than 200 dogs are languishing in the most appalling conditions, but we have a real chance to save them. … 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.”
The eating of dog meat is still widespread in South Korea, with the practice going back to the first century AD. However, in more recent times, the consumption of animals that are commonly kept as household pets has disturbed many animal rights activists.
HSI noted that “thousands of dog factory farms still exist,” with some 2.5 million dogs a year being bred solely for human consumption.
Cowell has been a long-term advocate for the abolition of the dog meat trade. “It’s the fact you’re eating such a kind, helpless, sweet animal,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain show in 2017.
This will be the 13th farm that has been closed down by HSI, with the total number of dogs saved by organization amounting to around 1,600.
“With every dog farm we close and every farmer we help [to] switch to a more profitable, humane business,” HSI said in a Facebook post, “we’re showing the South Korean government that it’s possible to end this cruel trade.”
In August of this year, activists presented a petition, signed by some one million people, to South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in in an effort to push for an end to the dog meat trade.