South Korea Passes Historic Law on Dog Meat

Web DeskJanuary 9, 2024
South Korea Passes Historic Law on Dog Meat

South Korea has achieved a groundbreaking milestone by enacting a law that prohibits the slaughter and sale of dogs for meat, signaling a crucial step toward ending the longstanding tradition of consuming dog meat. The legislation, scheduled to be enforced by 2027, doesn’t criminalize dog meat consumption itself but rather focuses on outlawing the dog meat trade.

The traditional dog meat stew, known as “boshintang,” once considered a delicacy among some older South Koreans, has seen a decline in popularity, particularly among the younger generation. A Gallup poll revealed a significant drop in dog meat consumption, with only 8% trying it in the past 12 months compared to 27% in 2015.

Also Read: Exploring the Relationship Between Meat Consumption and Heart Health

Under the newly passed law, individuals found guilty of butchering dogs could face up to three years in prison, while those involved in raising dogs for meat or selling dog meat could serve a maximum of two years. Farmers and restaurant owners are granted a three-year grace period to transition to alternative sources of employment.

This legislative move aligns with shifting societal attitudes, as more people now perceive dogs as integral family members, contributing to growing support for animal rights. The government, recognizing the decreasing popularity of dog meat, aims to assist affected farmers, butchers, and restaurant owners during the transition.

While some older individuals, like 86-year-old Kim Seon-ho, express disappointment, citing the tradition’s historical roots, a clear generational divide is evident. President Yoon Suk Yeol and First Lady Kim Keon Hee, known for their affinity for animals, have advocated for putting an end to the practice.

Animal rights groups, including the Humane Society in Korea, have applauded the ban as a significant shift after decades of unsuccessful attempts to address the issue. Jung Ah Chae, the executive director of the Humane Society in Korea, views the ban as a testament to South Korea’s commitment to a more dog-friendly future.

Despite the ban receiving widespread support, some dog meat farmers argue against it, suggesting that the declining popularity among the younger population should be allowed to naturally phase out the practice.

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