South Korea passes landmark bill banning dog meat industry

In a historic move, the South Korean parliament unanimously adopted the bill banning the production, sale and consumption of dog meat on Tuesday, January 9.

Korea Times reports that the historic ban received 208 votes in favor, none against and two abstentions. And that it prohibits the breeding, slaughter, distribution and sale of dogs intended for meat consumption.

In addition to this, the bill also calls for supporting the transition of those currently working in the dog meat industry, by providing them with subsidies to change jobs.

This is why enforcement of the law will only begin in 2027, after a three-year grace period, to allow people working in the dog meat industry to find stable employment.

Violators face a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of up to 30 million won (about $22,000).

“According to government statistics, there are about 1,150 dog breeders, 34 meat companies, 219 distributors and about 1,600 restaurants that sell dog meat foods in Korea. » The Korea Times reveals it.

Last month, South Korean dog breeders gathered near the presidential office to prevent the ban and intended to release around a hundred dogs, causing a fight with the police.

But animal rights activists Humane Society International/Korea I called it “History in the making” after decades of attempts to eradicate this controversial centuries-old practice.

Jung-ah Chae, executive director of Humane Society International in Korea, says: “I never thought I would see a ban on South Korea’s cruel dog meat industry in my lifetime, but this historic victory for animals is a testament to the passion and determination of our animal protection movement .”

“While my heart breaks for the millions of dogs for whom this change came too late, I am thrilled that South Korea can now close this miserable chapter in our history and embrace a dog-friendly future.” » she continued.

Demand for dog meat hit a record high last year. In fact, a Nielsen Korea Opinion Poll 2023 reveals that 86% of South Koreans will not eat dog meat in the future and more than half (57%) support the ban.

Today, with the passage of this bill, the Humane Society International reveals that South Korea now joins the growing list of Asian countries and territories that have banned the dog meat industry, including :

  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • The Philippines
  • India
  • Thailand
  • Singapore
  • Shenzhen, China
  • Zhuhai, China
  • Siem Reap Province in Cambodia
  • 45 cities, regencies and provinces in Indonesia

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