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Friday, May 24, 2024

South Korea passed bill banning eating Dogs

The bill, enjoying rare bipartisan support, now awaits final approval from President Yoon Suk Yeol.

South Korea passed bill banning eating Dogs

On Tuesday, South Korea’s parliament approved a bill that prohibits the consumption and sale of dog meat, marking the end of a centuries-old controversial tradition in response to increasing support for animal welfare. The consumption of dog meat, once believed to enhance stamina in the humid Korean summer, has dwindled and is now primarily practiced by a few older individuals and specific restaurants. The shift comes as more Koreans consider dogs as family pets, and concerns about the inhumane slaughter of dogs for meat have intensified.

Activists assert that most dogs are electrocuted or hanged during the slaughtering process, while breeders and traders argue for advancements in making the practice more humane. President Yoon Suk Yeol, an animal enthusiast who, along with First Lady Kim Keon Hee, owns six dogs and eight cats, has played a pivotal role in garnering support for the ban. The rise in pet ownership is evident, with one in four Korean households having a pet dog in 2022, up from 16% in 2010.

Prison or fine 

Proposed by the ruling party and backed by bipartisan support, the bill secured an overwhelming 208 votes with two abstentions in the single-chamber parliament. The legislation, aimed at “eradicating the consumption of dogs,” will be enacted after a three-year grace period. Breeding and slaughtering dogs for human consumption will be punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of 30 million won ($22,800). Notably, the bill does not specify penalties for consuming dog meat itself.

Chae Jung-ah, the executive director of Humane Society International Korea, described the development as “history in the making,” emphasizing the widespread rejection of dog consumption among Korean citizens. The bill, enjoying rare bipartisan support, now awaits final approval from President Yoon Suk Yeol. The proposed legislation has garnered strong backing from the First Lady, who visited an animal protection organization during a presidential state visit to the Netherlands in December.

More to read: Mother Accused of Killing Children Arrested in UK

South Korea, like certain regions in Vietnam and southern China, has a historical association with dog meat consumption, viewed as a means to combat summer heat and as an affordable protein source during periods of higher poverty rates. Approximately 1,100 dog farms for food purposes operate in South Korea, with around half a million dogs raised for this purpose, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.