Amid escalating awareness of animal rights, South Korea is set to ban the consumption of dog meat (via Reuters). The announcement came from Yu Eui-dong, the policy chief of the ruling People Power Party. “It is time to put an end to social conflicts and controversies around dog meat consumption through the enactment of a special act to end it,” he said.
Agriculture Minister Chung Hwang-keun confirmed the government’s commitment to swiftly implementing the ban. However, South Korea will offer extensive support to individuals within the dog meat industry who will be out of business. This support aims to address concerns about livelihoods and ease the transition out of the trade. Previous attempts to pass anti-dog meat legislation faced resistance from industry stakeholders. Primarily, due to fears about the impact on farmers and restaurant owners.
When does the South Korea dog eating ban take effect?
The proposed ban includes a three year grace period with financial assistance for businesses transitioning away from the trade. The practice of dog meat consumption was historically perceived as a means to combat the summer heat in South Korea. However, it has significantly diminished among younger generations and limited to specific restaurants with an older demographic.
Animal rights groups, including Humane Society International, hail the decision as a milestone achievement in their battle against cruelty towards animals.
Government data reveals the existence of approximately 1,150 breeding farms and 1,600 restaurants serving dog meat. A Gallup Korea poll underscored shifting sentiments, with 64% opposing dog meat consumption. This signified a notable departure from the past, where 27% had consumed dog meat in 2015.
South Korea’s move to ban dog meat consumption marks a watershed moment in evolving ethical considerations surrounding animal welfare. The changing societal attitudes and a pivotal step towards compassion and humane treatment of animals.