Dogs, cats and humans to descend on COEXIf the sight of pet owners walking their dogs and carrying plastic bags is nothing out of the ordinary to you, it may surprise you to know that not until this month did Korean law require pet owners to leash their pets and clean up after them in public places.
A fine of 100,000 won ($83) can be imposed on owners who fail to abide by the regulation.
With more than six million pet owners now in Korea, the pet industry is evolving as rapidly as pet-related legislation is.
Seoul International Pet Expo 2003 (SIPET 2003) welcomes pets and their owners in Korea this weekend, in the interest of a more enjoyable life for both parties.
From today to Sunday, fast-paced sales personnel from more than 100 companies in the pet industry will be peddling their wares at the Indian Hall of COEX in Samseong-dong.
About 150 booths will be set up in the 8,010-square-meter space, presenting beauty products, housing, food, clothing and other accessories for the discerning animal, and the discriminating animal’s owner.
There’ll also be services offering information on pet medical care, kennels and training schools.
Besides sales and marketing, there’ll be a variety of events that pets and their owners can participate in.
There will be dog fashion shows, including one for dogs wearing traditional Korean hanbok. On Saturday afternoon, there’ll be a pet hairstyling show, showcasing the latest sartorial trends.
There will be agility demonstratrations, offering pets ― or, rather, pet owners ― a chance to show off how quickly they can respond to commands.
A seminar is scheduled to discuss ways to promote a better pet-raising culture and a better pet industry in Korea. Tests for dog handlers will be held during the convention as well as training demonstrations and many other events for dogs.
The main dog event is the Seoul International Dog Show, starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday, featuring 700 dogs of 330 breeeds competing for the best-dog-of-the-year title.
None of this should be interpreted as meaning that the feline population will be neglected. While the dog show is going on, Korea Cat Club will host a cat show. Visitors can take a look at some haughty and no-doubt-dignified cats starting at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Owners can participate in pet quizzes and other events. If you bring your dog, he or she can enter a dog race, if you and he or she are so inclined. However, don’t forget your leash and plastic bags.
by Eugine Oh
Entrance fee is 5,000 won; hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (02) 2278-0661 or visit www. sipet.co.kr.