South Korea bans the dog meat trade

Millions of canine lives will now be saved Credit: Shutterstock/428632081

South Korea has agreed to a law banning the production or selling of dog meat. 

Dog meat is a centuries-old industry in the country, and although in recent years it has been reported to have ‘dwindled’, the ‘delicacy’ still persists.

On Tuesday, January 9, the country’s parliament voted by 208 votes to zero for a ban on the trade, which will come into force in 2027. Humane Society International called the legislation’s passage ‘history in the making’.

Executive director of HSI’s Korea office, Jung-Ah Chae, stated that: ‘I never thought I would see in my lifetime a ban on the cruel dog meat industry in South Korea, but this historic win for animals is testament to the passion and determination of our animal protection movement.’

Results from recent surveys show that the majority of South Koreans do not consume dog meat and would like it to be banned. However, 33 per cent feel that it should stay legal, despite them personally not eating it.

Although official data on the consumption of dog meat does not exist, or has not been shared with the public, both sides of the fight, activists and farmers alike claim that hundreds of thousands of dogs are farmed and slaughtered for meat every year in South Korea. 

From 2027, any person found to be slaughtering, breeding, or conducting any trading related to dog meat for human consumption can be sentenced to up to three years in prison.

However, the actual act of consuming dog meat will not be penalised.

The legislation has promised government assistance to farmers and other workers who will lose their jobs, although some still plan to fight the ban with an appeal and protests.

Son Won Hak, leader of a farmers’ association, said: ‘This is a clear state violence as they’re infringing upon the freedom of occupational option. We can’t just sit idly.’

So a win for animal rights is perhaps a financial loss for some humans in South Korea. Was this law the right decision? 

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Written by

Jennifer Popplewell

Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.


    • Concha

      09 January 2024 • 23:20

      Hallelujah!!!!! Hopefully, those who think they’ll lose out will be helped into farming something else!

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