SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s national assembly unanimously passed a bill to ban eating and selling of dog meat on Tuesday.
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Slaughtering, breeding, trading and selling of dog meat for human consumption will be prohibited starting in 2027. Violators of the new law will face penalties of two to three years of imprisonment or a fine up to 30 million Korean Won, or about $2,300.
The special act on banning the consumption and trading of dog meat bans opening of a new a farm, slaughter house or a restaurant that handles dog meat.
Farms that used to raise dogs for meat are obliged to report to local government about their operating status within three months after the legislation passing and hand in a plan for facility closure within six months.
“Korea is rapidly changing into a society that cares about animal welfare. I believe it is time for the government to act to resolve the problem of dog consumption,” Minister of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Song Mi-ryung said after the legislation passed.
The ministry will continue to communicate with those dog meat farms, dealers and restaurant owners who are required to shut down following the legislation and come up with support measures to let them keep up their economic activities in a new type of business.
Consuming dog meat was a centuries-old tradition based on beliefs that it is good for stamina, but in modern days the majority of South Koreans have been against it.
“We reached a tipping point where most Korean citizens reject eating dogs and want to see this suffering consigned to the history books, and today our policymakers have acted decisively to make that a reality,” JungAh Chae, executive director of Humane Society International/Korea (HSI Korea), which has campaigned for the ban, told ABC News.
About 86% of South Korean citizens had little to no intention of consuming dog meat and 57% supported a ban on the dog meat industry, according to a survey conducted by Nielson Korea commissioned by HSI Korea.
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