A new rule was recently passed in South Korea that completely prohibits the sale and consumption of canine meat. This groundbreaking legislation, which was approved by parliament on Tuesday (9), is set to be enforced starting in 2027. Violators of the new regulation will face severe penalties, including a fine of R$110,000 or up to two years in jail.
The proposal to ban dog meat received overwhelming support from both the ruling party and the opposition in parliament. It effectively outlaws the sale, distribution, and breeding of dogs for the purpose of using their meat.
To support individuals who were previously employed in the dog meat industry, the government will provide financial subsidies and incentives to help them transition to alternative occupations. This measure aims to ensure that those affected by the ban are given the necessary support to find new employment opportunities.
The move to ban dog meat in South Korea reflects changing attitudes towards the consumption of dog meat, especially among the elderly population. In recent decades, there has been a significant reduction in the consumption of dog meat, as more people become aware of the ethical concerns surrounding the practice.
The country has also witnessed a surge in the animal protection awareness movement. A recent study by Animal Welfare Awareness revealed that over 90% of respondents stated that they did not consume dog meat in the past year and have no intention of doing so in the future. This shift in public opinion has played a crucial role in generating support for the ban.
Currently, there are approximately 1,150 dog breeding farms operating in South Korea. These farms, along with 34 butchers, 219 wholesalers, and around 1,600 eateries, contribute to the sale and distribution of dog meat. The prohibition on dog meat will have a significant impact on these establishments, affecting around 3,500 farms that breed 1.5 million dogs and 3,000 restaurants.
The South Korean group representing the dog meat business has highlighted the challenges that the ban will pose to their industry. They estimate that thousands of businesses will be directly affected by the prohibition, potentially leading to job losses and economic repercussions.
The push for a nationwide ban on dog meat consumption gained momentum when former President Moon Jae-in proposed such a ban in 2021. Public support for this initiative has increased, particularly during the presidency of Yoon Suk-yeol. Yoon, who has adopted multiple cats and dogs, has been a vocal advocate for animal welfare. Another prominent figure who has spoken out against dog meat consumption is the first lady, Kim Keon Hee.
However, previous attempts to pass such a ban have faced significant opposition. In November 2023, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the president’s residence to demand the repeal of a bill that sought to ban dog meat. Despite these challenges, the recent passage of the legislation marks a major step towards ending the controversial practice of consuming dog meat in South Korea.
As the prohibition on dog meat goes into effect in 2027, South Korea aims to take a significant stand against animal cruelty and align itself with global standards of animal welfare. This landmark legislation reflects the evolving values and sensibilities of the South Korean population and their commitment to protecting the rights and well-being of animals.