Producing or selling dog meat will be outlawed in South Korea, where the centuries-old industry has dwindled but still persists.
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The country’s parliament on Tuesday voted by a landslide for a ban on the trade which will come into force in 2027.
Recent surveys show most South Koreans do not eat dog meat and want it banned, though a third think it should stay legal despite not eating it.
There is no official data on how popular dog meat remains, but activists and farmers claim hundreds of thousands of dogs are farmed and slaughtered for meat every year.
Slaughtering, breeding, and trading related to dog meat for human consumption will become punishable by two to three years’ jail.
Eating dog meat, however, will not be penalised.
Humane Society International called the legislation’s passage ‘history in the making’.
Jung-Ah Chae, executive director of HSI’s Korea office: ‘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.’
The bill, which was passed by 208 votes to zero, states: ‘This law is aimed at contributing to realising the values of animal rights, which pursue respect for life and a harmonious co-existence between humans and animals.’
The legislation also promises government assistance to farmers and other workers who will lose their jobs, though some 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 freedom of occupational option. We can’t just sit idly.’
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