JINDO, South Korea, August 1 (Korea Bizwire) – Jindo County in South Korea’s South Jeolla Province is promoting the sport of dog racing, not with greyhounds, a typical racing dog, but with Korean Jindo dogs, which are designated as the 53rd natural treasure of South Korea.
Dog racing – or greyhound racing – is a popular sport in other countries, where dogs race around a track in pursuit of an artificial lure, and usually involves betting on the race outcome.
In promoting dog racing, Jindo County is hoping to publicize the Jindo breed in general, encourage proper breeding, and possibly raise the income of Jindo breeders.
According to Article No.1 of the ‘Korean Breed Jindo Protection and Promotional Act’, Jindo breeders must promote the excellence of the dog and heighten the use of the dog’s superior traits.
Article No.3 of the same law specifies that the county governor must establish and carry out a plan to preserve the pure Jindo breed through studies, research and protection.
Based on Article No.3, Jindo County launched Jindo dog racing at the Jindo theme park in 2011. Three or four Jindo dogs compete in every race, with two races held on Saturday and one race on Sunday.
Visitors can purchase a coupon for 1,000 won, and those who pick the winner receive 5,000 won worth of black rice or a local specialty of Jindo.
“Promoting Jindo dog racing can be a great opportunity to make Jindos better known worldwide and tout their excellent characteristics,” said Lee Dong-jin, the governor of Jindo County. “People will become more familiar with the dogs, and that could lead to an increase in income for Jindo breeders who train dogs for racing.”
Lee added that dog racing excludes the possibility of gambling or match fixing because the races are sponsored by the county government and the dogs race alone, not with a person as in horse racing.
However, dog racing has yet to be legalized in Korea.
“I have been informed that some people are trying to get greyhound racing legalized in Korea, but they have not been successful either,” said Cha Je-nam, the director of Jindo dog racing association. “But Jindo racing is different from typical greyhound racing in terms of the motivation or purpose behind the whole business.”
“We urged the national government to legalize the business last year, but we couldn’t even find out who was in charge or who to contact regarding the issue. The legislation specifies the protection of the Jindo breed, so hopefully the government will endorse the legalization soon.”
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)