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South Korea passes bill banning dog meat consumption

2024.03.01 02:25:30 Sojin Kim

[Image of a dog. Photo credit: Pixabay]

On January 9th, 2024, South Korea approved a bill that strictly prohibits the sale of dog meat, with enforcement scheduled for 2027.


The delayed implementation of this law is attributed to the consideration of farmers, who will need to seek alternative livelihoods once the legislation takes effect.


To ease the transition, the government plans to offer support and incentives for those impacted by the ban.


Some farmers have chosen to embrace new careers while keeping the dogs as pets.


However, others are still in the process of finding alternative occupations, benefiting from the three-year grace period.


Consuming dog meat was uncommon and rare in South Korea, despite being a centuries-old practice and not being against the law.


Following the Korean War, the scarcity of meat led to the popularity of consuming dog meat, particularly in dishes like boshintang, known as a soup good for the body.


Over the centuries, this tradition waned, resulting in a decline in dog meat consumption.


According to a recent survey by aware.kr, an animal rights organization, revealed that about 82 percent of citizens supported this new bill.


South Korea joins other nations, including Hong Kong, India, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand, in banning dog meat consumption.


However, countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia continue to permit and protect the practice by law.


When this law is enforced, there will be strict and severe consequences for those who violate it: they could face a fine of about $23,000 dollars or imprisonment for either two or three years.


The South Korean government reported approximately 520,000 dogs raised for consumption across 1,150 farms, with around 1,600 restaurants serving dog meat in the country.


Although this might seem like a large amount, it is still considerably less than in previous years.


Before this law was passed, farmers and restaurant owners who breed and sell dogs held a protest on November 30th, 2023, saying that it is an individual’s right to buy, sell, and consume dog meat.


However, this did not prevent the government from passing the law.


Dogs rescued from these environments are now under the care of organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and other South Korean groups.


This bill, which requests that dogs not to be eaten but instead be treated with the rights they deserve and as pets, is now passed on to the president of South Korea for final approval.

Sojin Kim / Grade 8 Session 3
Sunnyvale Middle School