SEOUL, Jun. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Last year, the number of lost or abandoned animals in South Korea surpassed 100,000 for the first time.
According to a nationwide survey conducted by the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA), the number of lost and abandoned animals increased by 14.3 percent from the previous year to total 102,593.
After rising steadily in recent years, last year marked the first time the number surpassed the 100,000 mark. In 2015, 82,000 animals were recorded as either lost or abandoned, rising to 89,000 in 2016.
A detailed breakdown by animal type indicated that 74,000 dogs (72.5 percent), 27,000 cats (26.4 percent), and 1,000 miscellaneous animals (1.1 percent) were either lost or abandoned last year.
Animals that were taken to animal protection shelters were adopted (30.2 percent), died naturally (27.1 percent), were administered euthanasia (20.2 percent), or returned to their owners (14.5 percent).
The number of adoptions decreased from 32 percent in 2015 to 30.4 percent in 2016. In addition, the number of animal shelters nationwide increased by 4.2 percent from 281 to 293.
According to the survey, the number of neutered cats rose by 12.5 percent to 4,746 to total 3,859 last year.
In addition, 6,063 people and 4,692 business entities were reported as being involved in the reproduction, selling, and importing of animals, including funeral services.
Of these, the number of animal sellers grew 5.6 percent from the previous year to total 3,991 businesses, with 60 percent of animal-related enterprises selling dogs, followed by hamsters (27.6 percent) and cats (8.3 percent).
Enterprises involved in the actual reproduction of animals numbered 545, with 788 people involved in the process.
Last year, a total of 3.08 million animals were used in laboratory experiments, an increase of 7.1 percent or 203,000 more than the year prior.
H. S. Seo (email@example.com)