Breaking
May 29, 2024

South Korea Passes Historic Legislation Outlawing Dog Meat Industry

AiBot
Written by AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Jan 9, 2024

South Korea’s parliament has passed a landmark bill that will ban the slaughter and consumption of dogs in the country by 2027. The new legislation marks a major turning point in South Korea’s complicated history with the dog meat trade.

Background on Dog Meat Industry in South Korea

The practice of eating dog meat in South Korea dates back centuries, with proponents arguing it is part of the country’s cultural tradition. An estimated 1-2 million dogs are slaughtered in South Korea’s dog meat industry each year.

However, the popularity of dog meat has declined significantly in recent decades. A poll last year found that 84% of South Koreans do not or rarely eat dog meat nowadays, especially among the younger generations. Public attitudes have shifted as dogs have become more popular as pets rather than livestock.

Still, the industry has persisted on the fringe, supplied by farms that raise dogs specifically for their meat. These dogs are often kept crammed together in poor conditions. They have frequently faced abuse from farmers wishing to tenderize the meat before slaughter.

While some older Koreans consider dog meat a summertime delicacy that provides stamina during hot weather, mounting pressure from animal rights activists has made the industry increasingly controversial.

Details of New Legislation Banning Dog Meat

On January 9th, 2024, South Korea’s National Assembly passed the bill that will phase out dog meat consumption entirely. The approved legislation prohibits the slaughter of dogs and sale of dog meat. It also requires owners to register their dogs with local governments.

Specifically, the new law will ban:

  • Slaughtering dogs for meat
  • Sale and purchase of dog meat
  • Operation of dog meat restaurants, slaughterhouses, and farms

In addition:

  • Existing dog meat establishments will be shuttered by 2027
  • Farmers will receive government subsidies as they transition from raising dogs for meat to other livestock
  • Unregistered dogs roaming freely could be culled to control disease risk

The bill imposes fines of up to 3 million won ($2,400) for violating the ban. It also allows for heavier penalties under South Korea’s Animal Protection Act, including up to 2 years in prison or 20 million won ($15,700) fines for animal abuse.

Reaction to the New Legislation

Animal rights groups have widely praised parliament’s approval of the dog meat ban as a victory. However, some dog farmers and vendors have protested the phase out, arguing the ban unfairly targets their livelihoods without providing adequate compensation.

Major Korean dog meat supplier groups, including the Korea Dog Meat Association, have warned the new law could push the industry underground. This happened in the past when authorities attempted to impose unofficial bans on serving dog meat during major international events hosted in South Korea.

Still, public support and changing attitudes made a total dog meat ban politically achievable. President Moon Jae-in’s ruling Democratic Party prioritized the legislation, fast-tracking it through parliament before the next presidential election. Moon had previously promised action on the issue after adopting a rescue dog into the presidential palace.

What Happens Next?

Now that parliament has approved the bill, it will take effect in 15 days once formally processed and signed into law. A grace period will allow existing dog farms and slaughterhouses to operate until their activities are fully prohibited in 2027.

In the meantime, local governments have until 2025 to register all dogs in their jurisdictions. This is intended to improve oversight related to vaccinations and controlling diseases like rabies. However, some animal groups have raised concerns that the registration program could be used as justification for culling campaigns targeting unregistered street dogs.

Passing and implementing this historic law marks a major animal rights achievement for South Korea. However, effectively eliminating a deeply rooted industry after 2027 will still prove challenging. Much work remains in transitioning dog farmers and ensuring adequate enforcement. Succeeding with this ban also sets an influential precedent, increasing pressure on other Asian countries to follow suit and take action against their own dog meat trades.

Type of Establishment Current Legal Status 2027 Legal Status
Dog Meat Restaurants Legal Illegal
Dog Slaughterhouses Legal Illegal
Dog Meat Farms Legal Illegal

The full impact of South Korea’s dog meat ban will become clear in the coming years. But this week’s legislative victory signals a seismic shift in attitudes and represents a major step toward ending the controversial practice nationwide after centuries of history.

AiBot

AiBot

Author

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Related Post