- Warning: This article contains distressing images
Dozens of dogs have been flown to the US after they were rescued from a farm in South Korea where they were to be slaughtered for human consumption.
The 46 dogs - which were living in "pitiful" conditions - were rescued from the farm by the Humane Society International (HSI).
After landing in New York on Sunday on a chartered flight, the dogs will be taken to shelters in the city, as well as in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Texas.
HSI described the farm in Goyang, 12 miles north-west of Seoul city centre, as "unlike anything the team had seen", adding it was "not a typical dog meat farm, it is an entirely indoor facility in a dark labyrinth layout of narrow corridors reaching pens and cages of dogs living without daylight or fresh air".
The team also reported that at least two of the animals had probably been former pets, who had been sold into the dog meat trade after their owners no longer wanted them.
Adam Parascandola, Director of Animal Protection and Crisis Response at HSI, said: “In the more than two years that I’ve been part of our campaign to shut down the dog meat trade in Asia, I thought I’d seen it all until I first saw this facility.
"It literally took my breath away, not least because when we first entered the darkness, the stench was overpowering.
"The ammonia burned the back of our throats.
"We could hear the dogs’ desperate barks but we couldn’t see their faces properly, just their eyes peering out.
"As we became accustomed to the darkness, we saw the pitiful state these poor animals had been living in."
The latest dog meat farm closure brings the total number shut down by HSI to seven, saving an estimated 800 animals, the organisation said.
There are an estimated 17,000 dog meat farms in South Korea, rearing more than 2.5 million dogs each year for human consumption, HSI said.
However, most people in the country do not regularly eat dog meat and the practice is increasingly falling out of favour with the younger generation.