South Korea has announced its plan to end its dog meat industry, aiming to phase out this age-old practice by 2027 entirely.
The decision comes after a meeting among lawmakers, government officials, and animal rights groups, heralding the potential end of a tradition that has long been a subject of controversy and international scrutiny.
The push to end the dog meat trade involves introducing a particular act, which will initiate a three-year phase-out period if passed by the end of the year.
This groundbreaking announcement has been met with support from various quarters, highlighting the growing sentiment against dog meat consumption within the country.
Assemblymember Yu Eui-dong, speaking at a press conference following the meeting, emphasized the need to resolve the social conflicts and controversies surrounding dog eating. He stated, “We live in an era of millions of pets.
In particular, dogs are not just possessions but family members and friends interacting with people. The majority of the public is against eating dogs.”
If the proposed legislation becomes law, it will prohibit the breeding, slaughtering, distributing, and selling of dogs for food.
Over the phase-out period, compensation will be provided to registered dog farm owners and individuals involved in the industry to help them transition to new fields and shut down their operations.
Animal rights activists worldwide have welcomed the news of South Korea’s commitment to ending the dog meat industry. JungAh Chae, executive director of Humane Society International/Korea, expressed her joy, stating that it was “like a dream come true for all of us who have campaigned so hard to end this cruelty.”
She also emphasized that South Korean society has reached a tipping point where most people reject eating dog meat.
South Korea Shifts Towards Ending Dog Meat Industry
While public opinion and demand for dog meat have been on the decline for years, there are still estimated to be around 1 million dogs bred for human consumption in South Korea, with many of these operations functioning illegally.
Activist pressure, negative public perception, and falling demand have already led to the closure of several of the country’s largest slaughterhouses and markets in recent years.
The path toward ending the dog meat industry in South Korea has been gaining momentum, with a survey conducted by Nielsen Korea in 2022 revealing that 87.5% of South Koreans would never eat dog meat.
This seasonal tradition primarily lingers among older generations, with younger South Koreans increasingly rejecting it.
Public support for a ban has continued to grow, with 56% of respondents favoring making the practice illegal, according to the Nielsen survey, a significant increase from less than 35% in 2017.
Both major political parties introduced bills earlier this year that would outlaw the butchery and sale of dog meat and make its consumption illegal.
Once the legislation is enacted, farms, slaughterhouses, distributors, and restaurants must submit plans for shutting down their operations to local governments, marking a significant step forward in ending the controversial and contentious dog meat industry in South Korea.
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